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icebreakers for the first week of school,

1-2-3 Come Do a Back-to-School Icebreaker Craft With Me

I think it’s super-important to build a classroom community and team spirit right from the get go.

I find that when students really know each other, they bond and make wonderful friendships. Caring & kindness result & discipline problems are minimal, making teaching much easier & learning a lot more fun.

For these reasons, I do quick, easy & fun icebreaker activities for our 1st month of school. It is definitely time well spent!

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleWith that in mind, I designed this “Let’s Flamingle!” craftivity.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleThere are 6, “getting to know you” writing prompt page options.

Do one each day, then break students into small groups and “flamingle”. Woo Hoo! A week’s worth of writing, with no additional prep.

I’ve found that students absolutely love sharing things about themselves, so this is an especially fun activity for them, and a simple way to get to know a lot about your students too.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleIntroduce the lesson by asking: “What do you think ‘flamingle’ means?”

After discussion, share my definition poster. (Flamingle: To socialize and become familiar with your new flock of friends.)

As a whole group discussion, fill in the “Why is it important to flamingle and get to know our classmates?” poster.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleBecause they are so colorful, completed “flamingo friends” make a terrific back to school bulletin board, or hallway border.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleI’ve included 4 photo posters of real flamingos flocking together, as well as 3 other posters you can scatter throughout your display as well.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleThe “We are all the same; we are all different” poster provides a great diversity discussion as well. 

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleIt's the body portion of the bird that becomes the "flip the flap" writing prompt booklet. 

Simply choose which pages are most appropriate for you students, or do all six.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleThe packet also includes a flamingle treat tag in both color as well as BW. There are 5 on a one-page pattern for quick printing.

Run them off, make two slits on the dashed lines, then insert a colorful marker. Place them on your students’ desks as an inexpensive surprise for them to use to fill in their “wing” pages.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleThe packet also allows you to grab those extra "teachable moments" to practice using descriptive adjectives as well as simile. Use the "simile definition poster" to introduce that page.

One of the prompt page options has students think "outside the box" and compare themselves: "I am most like this animal, color, insect & invention." i.e. I am like a bee because I am always busy flitting from this to that.  

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleSince a lot of teachers like to start planning for back to school later in the summer, today's featured FREEBIE is another little "first day" or first week of school activity.

The packet is a set of 30 number puzzles, which come in color as well as black and white. Your students will enjoy coloring & putting their puzzle together, which will give you a few moments of peace.

flamingo crafts, flamingo activities, icebreakers, back to school activities, back to school icebreakers, back to school bulletin boards, back to school writing prompts, Let's Flamingle, flamingleWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

The forecasted rain hasn't come, so I'm off to go water my very thirsty flower garden.  Wishing you a relaxing & fun-filled day.

"One of the benefits of summer, was that we had more light to read by." -Jeannette Walls from "The Glass Castle"

1-2-3 Come Chalk Up Some Fun With Me

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasWoo Hoo!  I now have 500 wonderful people following my TpT shop, and as promised,  here's "Chalk Talk" a special milestone FREEBIE. 

A special thank you to all of my spectacular followers.  Please know that I'm grateful & appreciative.

sidewalk chalk activitiesLike most kiddos, I LOVE sidewalk chalk.  You can buy 6 to a dozen sticks at The Dollar Store, so I always had a big bucket on hand, for those crazy days when everyone has had enough, and you just need to take a break and get outside. 

Keeping in mind, that just about everything we do has to be "educational" and include the "standards", I'd have my kiddos start by practicing writing their names, letters, numbers and drawing shapes.  After we got that out of the way, they enjoyed creating "mess-terpieces" 'til it was time to go in. 

For quick kid-cleanup, make sure you bring some wet wipes with you, so students can wipe off their dusty hands.

treat bags, back to school activities, back to school gifts, first day funIf you give your students a first day gift or treat bag of some sort, and are looking for something easy and inexpensive, then I think you'll enjoy my "Welcome! ___________ is 'chalk' full of learning fun!"  treat bag.  I have templates for preschool, kindergarten and first grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach.

chalk full of fun colorAnd... no worries if you've already started school.  There's a generic "Wishing you a day that's 'chalk' full of fun!"  black & white, plus colorful note too.

My "pinspiration" for this packet, came from My Sweet Sanity's blog spot.  She used the "chalk full" play on words, for an end-of-the-year summer gift.  Click on the link to zip on over and see her rainbow version. 

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasrecipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, back to school activities, treat bag ideasIf you'd like a first-day time filler, use the black & white header, so that students can pull it off, color and use as a bookmark

Attach the card to the front of a Snack Baggie, with a glue dot.  (I don't like using staples with little ones.) Put a piece of sidewalk chalk inside and you're done!

sidewalk chalk activities recipesSuper quick, easy, & inexpensive, yet a thoughtful gift that "keeps on giving".

Because students will want to play with the chalk right away, I wouldn't put them on their desks.  Instead, put the treats in a big basket in full view and wait for children to notice, or show them one and let them know that they will get their Baggie at the end of the day to take home, or...

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasUse them as a behavior modification technique.  Tell students that they need to work as a team with their new friends. 

Each time they complete a task, or show great group behavior, you'll color in a letter on the "chalk" poster.  When all of the letters have been colored in, they get their chalk and are able to go outside for some special fun.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasAs long as you're outside, why not take some pictures. Pinterest has quite a few photo op examples that involve sidewalk chalk.  If you take a first day of school picture, one of these ideas would make a cherished keepsake.  Children tend to be less camera shy while playing outside, so you should get some adorable shots like the ones pictured here.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasI especially like the kindergarten idea.  Write your grade level as shown, and then have each student pose. 

I've linked back to give credit when I could, however some showed just a photo and went no where.  (Hover over the photo to see if it's linked and then bop on over to those sites for more details.)

v recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThe balloon and crown idea are also easy and cute. That little guy is so joy-filled!

Keeping with the sidewalk chalk theme, I designed some writing prompts that I call "Chalk Talk"

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasThere's one for boys and one for girls.  Children complete the prompt: "I had a nice day at school.  These are a few of the things that I did..."

I've also included two "chalk talk" posters to use for whatever you deem appropriate. 

free back to school postersClick on the link to view/download the Chalk Talk packet.

To see if I could find any other interesting things to do with sidewalk chalk, I Googled it.

For 30 fun games and activities with sidewalk chalk check out this creative birthday party idea website.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasYou can buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk at The Dollar Store, but if you’d like to make some, you can find a recipe on wikihow. For 7 fun ways to make ice chalk, click on the link.  I like the idea of using Popsicle sticks, so children's hands don't get as messy.

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasFinally, click on the link for a recipe for scented sidewalk chalk paint, (She used Kool-Aid for non-toxic fragrance) and says: "This is a super-simple and inexpensive paint recipe that rinses off with a hose."

recipes for sidewalk chalk, activities to do with sidewalk chalk, behavior modification techniques, back to school activities, treat bag ideasWell that's it for today.  Time to go make some special memories with my grandchildren and our brand new tub of sidewalk chalk. 

Wishing you a day "chalk" full of giggles. 

"Leave a little love wherever you go." -Unknown

1-2-3 Come Make A Shape House With Me!

Since the last "my home" craftivity was so popular, I decided to whip together another social studies lesson you can use when you're studying family and neighborhoods.  It's also a fun way to get to know your new students.

alphabet activities, alphabet crafts, letter crafts, activities for the letter H, social studies activities for kindergarten, social studies activities for 1st grade, neighborhood activities, activities on family, house template, address activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, lessons for the first week of school, icebreakers for the first week of school, icebreaker activities, September bulletin boards, social studies bulletin boards, shape activities, 2D shape lessons, common core shapes, common core social studies, free common core lessons, hexagon activities, CCSS math kinder, CCSS math 1st grade, Completed projects make an adorable back-to-school bulletin board, and are a nice "icebreaker" for the first week of school, when students are getting to know about their new classmates. 

So that math is also covered, I've included all of the 2D standard shapes that children can use to decorate and "build" their home with. Common Core State Standards: K.G.1, K.G.2, K.G.3, 1.G.1, 1.G.2, 1.G.3 can all be covered.

Remind students that 2D shapes are flat shapes. (Lying on a plane.) You can make templates of the shapes using an old file folder. 

Have a room helper trace once and then cut out 5-6 at a time, or you can print off the masters, rough cut, and have students trim up their own pieces.

Provide lots of colors, so you can review those as well.  You'll also have a nice variety of different looking houses.

I've designed the square windows in such a way, that you can review small, medium and large, as well as fractions: a whole is "cut" in 1/2 and then into 1/4ths to make the windowpanes.

alphabet activities, alphabet crafts, letter crafts, activities for the letter H, social studies activities for kindergarten, social studies activities for 1st grade, neighborhood activities, activities on family, house template, address activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, lessons for the first week of school, icebreakers for the first week of school, icebreaker activities, September bulletin boards, social studies bulletin boards, shape activities, 2D shape lessons, common core shapes, common core social studies, free common core lessons, hexagon activities, CCSS math kinder, CCSS math 1st grade, To cover this standard, encourage students to draw windowpane lines on the shapes that they are using for windows. 

Be sure to make a sample for yourself to help explain what you want students to do. Have children share their homes, pointing out which shapes they used.

To reinforce more of the shape standard, encourage them to use spatial direction words as well.  i.e. "My rectangle door is beside the window.  The square window is under the triangle roof." etc.

If you are working on CCSS fractions, students should also use the vocabulary whole, half and fourth when explaining their window shapes.  If "Knows their address." is a standard in your school, you can have students write theirs in the middle of the H.

Cutting their school photo into an oval and having them "peek" out a window, adds pizzazz.  alphabet activities, alphabet crafts, letter crafts, activities for the letter H, social studies activities for kindergarten, social studies activities for 1st grade, neighborhood activities, activities on family, house template, address activities, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, lessons for the first week of school, icebreakers for the first week of school, icebreaker activities, September bulletin boards, social studies bulletin boards, shape activities, 2D shape lessons, common core shapes, common core social studies, free common core lessons, hexagon activities, CCSS math kinder, CCSS math 1st grade, Click on the link to view/download H Is For House shape craftivity.

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"They can, because they think they can." -Virgil

 

 

 

 

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