1-2-3 Come Do a Back to School Icebreaker With Me!
Nowadays, our classrooms are filled with lots of diversity, which sometimes makes starting a new school year a bit scary.
I truly believe that making the time to do some “get to know you” activities the first few days of school, is so very important in building community, camaraderie and a team spirit.
Once those things are established, children build friendships. That bond helps them enjoy school more, learn better and feel safer.
Discipline problems are lessened as well because of mutual feelings of genuine caring and respect.
With that in mind, I designed this super-fun icebreaker craftivity, I call it, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, which not only helps everyone get to know each other, but also practices writing skills in a fun way.
I find that students truly enjoy sharing things about themselves.
Use them as an attention grabbing way to introduce the lesson, or jump start a discussion of why it’s important not to prejudge others.
Later, sprinkle them throughout your display of children's book stacks.
As another discussion starter, I've also included a set of 4, interesting quote cards. These too, can become part of your display.
So that this idea works for a variety of grades, ages and skill levels, I’ve included patterns for lower elementary kiddos, as well as patterns for older students.
Patterns come in black & white so students can color them. I've also included several in color, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.
This "topper" sits on a stack of books.
Each book features a "favorite" writing prompt. Such as favorite food, animal, color etc.
Making this a quick, easy and a super-fun way to get to know your students.
Younger kiddos can dictate their answers to a parent, which makes this an interesting activity to do during your open house or "Meet the Teacher" night.
There are also 2 options for “teacher toppers” so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share. Students love learning things about their new teachers.
These come with "favorites" book headers, as well as a pattern where the books are numbered, so you can taylor your questions for your own class.
I've included a list of ideas you can choose from, to help design your own categories.
Simply peruse my list, circle your favorite 14, then number them.
After students have colored, cut and assembled ther book stack, read the first item you want them to write down on the first book: ie. "What is your favorite movie? "
Because "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "I can read them like a book" are idioms, be sure and take that teachable moment to explain what that term means.
I've included some definition posters to assist you.
Plus, kiddos have a nice little something to bring home to share with their families.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Our weather here in Michigan has been absolutely gorgeous! Feeling very blessed.
Wishing you a stress free and very relaxing day.
"Life seems to begin all over again during the summer." - Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A Name Map With Me!
I teach “mapping” as a writing strategy to my college comp students. It’s a fun visual way for them to get their thoughts organized on paper, before they begin to write their essay.
A name map is a terrific way to introduce "mapping" to elementary students. This is also an interesting icebreaker for the first week of school and a great way to get to know your new students.
Children think of a symbol that represents them and draw that in the middle. I chose an apple as it’s sort of universal for school or teaching.
Branching out from the center symbol is a variety of things about the person such as hobbies, their favorite season, birthday, what they want to be when they grow up etc.
By having students use their two favorite colors to write their first and last names in the center of their object, everyone gets to know another “tidbit” about that person.
The completed activities make a wonderful back to school bulletin board too! Make sure you do a personal one of yourself, so that you have a sample to show your students as a way to explain things, as well as a means for them to get to know their new teacher. Includes an explanatory note home to families.
Sharing name maps is a nice activity to do after reading the story Chrysanthemum, a wonderful back to school tale, whose main character is a little mouse named Chrysanthemum. She loved her unusual name until she started school and everyone began making fun of her. It's one of my all-time favorite back-to-school books and especially great if you need some stories to go with "bucket-filling."
My inspiration to do name maps, came from an art teacher’s “heart maps” that he did with his 4th graders at Riverside Elementary. Click on the link to check out their awesome endeavors. I hope you and yours have as much fun making these as I did.
Click on the link to view/download Name Maps. This packet is a special FREEBIE in my TpT shop. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away! For your convenience, my "Pin it" button is at the top on the menu bar.
“There’s few things as uncommon as common sense.” –Frank McKinney Hubbard