1-2-3 Come Make Open House Extra Special With Me
Each year for my Open House, as well as parent-teacher conferences, I put up a small table, covered it with a seasonal tablecloth and set a basket of mints on it, along with a sign that said: "Families Are Worth A Mint! Help yourself."
While doing research on the web, I came across a variety of similar ideas, including this adorable poem that was all over Pinterest in various forms.
There was no link to who the original writer was, so I decided to jazz this sweet sentiment up, with a bit of clip art and my original saying.
Add a bit more color by mounting the poster on construction paper, then laminate and file away in a folder to use each year. This is a really inexpensive way to express your appreciation, as The Dollar Store sells bags of mints year round and you can pick up all sorts of little baskets at garage sales.
For that finishing touch, and to draw attention to your basket, I've included some large mint patterns, so you can reproduce my entire display pictured in the photo.
Run the candy circles off on card stock and then tape them to long wooden skewers. I tacked on a red bow using glue dots and then stuck my "peppermint balloons" into the basket.
One of the nice things about using peppermint, is that it's definitely NOT a favorite of children, however, it is something that adults enjoy. (No worries about a few kids eating the entire basket.)
If you'd prefer a smaller "bite size" mint, Sam's Club and Cost-co sell the mini butter-mints (pink, yellow, white and green) in bulk. They have a long shelf life, so I always had plenty on hand.
Click on the link to view/download the Families Are Worth A Mint packet.
Thanks for visiting today, feel free to PIN away.
I hope you are enjoying your summer and starting to get excited for back to school. Here's to an outstanding open house!
Time To Try A Little Tenderness
Teaching students to be kind is a nice activity for the beginning of the school year when you are explaining your rules and implementing student behavior programs and contracts.
The Kindness Packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download the kindness packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find helpful.
"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." -Franklin D. Roosevelt
I’m A Te-rrific Student T-shirt Writing Prompt.
This is a really fun end-of-the-year activity, but could also be a wonderful way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year too! Use as an icebreaker for the first week.
The hands in the photo are neon orange. The feet are much larger, but I took the shot with Elliot upside down, so they look smaller, they are actually much bigger than the hands. Because this artwork is so big, when I took the photo feet fist, the head looked shrunken. Oh my!
Anyway, you get the idea. I know yours will turn out really cute and be a great keepsake that your students will enjoy making.
I've included 2 different headings on the shorts so you have that option to use at the end or beginning of the year.
The end of the year shorts say: My short shorts of what I want to do this summer, The one for the beginning of the school year says: My short shorts of what I did this summer.
Run off copies of the t-shirt and shorts on a variety of brightly colored construction paper. Students will fill in the writing prompts and cut the clothing shapes out. Buy a few pair of wacky sunglasses at The Dollar Store in bright colors. Have your students put a pair on and take a head shot of them.
Print the photo off in black and white and enlarge them on the copier. Students color the sunglasses in with a magic marker to compliment the color of their T-shirt or shorts. Students trace their hand and foot on a folded sheet of bright or neon-colored construction paper. By cutting on a folded piece of paper they will get a pair of hands and feet.
Children glue their hands to the cuffs of the T-shirt and their feet to the bottom of the shorts. These paper kids make an adorable wall display. Run them under the ceiling, as a border in your hallway.
For another writing extension, I’ve also included a T-shirt where students can list all the Te-riffic things they’ve learned during the year, jotting down the thing they feel they are the most terrific at.
Click on the link to view/download Te-riffic Student T-Shirt Writing Prompt
Feel free to PIN away on my site. I think sharing is so important.
Do you have something that you do as an icebreaker that you could share with us? I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org You can also leave a comment here. If everyone adds to each other's bag of tricks how easy our lives become! Thanks in advance.
Helpful "How Do I Get Home?" Name Tags
One of the things that can sometimes be a stress-filled moment for me is the time when I’m getting my children ready to go home.
When you are dealing with little ones who are also anxious and a bit nervous and worried about that too, it is very important that they see you cheerful, calm and in control.
If you have things organized this will run smoothly.
Children are exhausted by now, it’s hot and everyone’s beyond spent at this point in the day.
I always try and enlist a few adults to help me so that things run smoothly. Having them hold up a sign works wonders.
Here’s an easy way to manage who goes where via pictures.
Print off the clipart of the various options:
Students are riding the bus: They line up in the order that they will board their specific bus numbers, behind the bus picture.
Their nametags all have a matching picture of a bus on them so you know at a glance that these children are in the correct line. Their tags also say what NUMBER bus they are on.
Students are walking: They line up in the walking line, behind the picture of a pair of tennis shoes. Their name tags all have a matching picture of the tennis shoes on them. Their tags also say whom they are walking with.
Students are getting picked up: They line up in the pick up line, behind the picture of a van. Their name tags all have a matching picture of a van on them. Their tags also say who is picking them up.
Students are going to after-school care: They line up in the after-school care line, behind the picture of a group of children. Their name tags all have a matching picture of a group of children on them. Their tags also have that room number on it.
On the back of the card is their address and phone number. This has saved me a lot of time when a bus driver has told me: “They're not on my bus. Where do they live?”
or “I don’t think he rides today. You better call his parents.” Or for whatever else I need to know an address or phone number quickly. I don’t have to go back to my room or search for a file, I simply flip over their name tag and all the info is there.
My name tags are also YELLOW which is a different color from the other kindergarten teachers (everyone has their own color) so everyone knows that these are Y5 students. I include Teacher: and write my name after that heading. It helps staff if one of my students wanders out of line.
I laminate my name tags and ask parents to safety pin them to their child for the entire month.
I also make an extra set to keep at school incase they lose them or forget to wear them.
I tell parents to simply take them off as soon as they get home and pin them to their backpack, that way they are always handy and if they forget to pin it on in the morning, I’ll still have it.
I walk the bus children to their buses. The other adults take the rest of the students to our designated “pick up room” where all the kindergarten children are “deposited” for safety reasons.
Parents who are picking up their children can go here and sign them out. Older children who are walking with these young ones can find them there, and the teacher in charge of the after school care program can get the K’s here as well, or send an assistant if she is busy.
Having a designated “pick-up room” has kept children safe and eliminated little ones running all over the hallways unattended.
Our librarian watches the room until the teachers get done boarding children on buses, then we stay with our students ‘til everyone is picked up.
Click on the link to view/print the back-to-school posters and name tags
I've also included a graph of "Where do I go after school?" This is a great math extension as well as a way to review with children before they line up at the end of the day. Click on the link to view/print the back-to-school line up graph.
These back-to-school-name tags, posters and graph came from this August's 78-page Apple Bytes, our newsletter packet, which goes out each month.
Why not become a subscriber and enjoy this benefit! Click on the link to see how.
Do you have a tip you can share about name tags? I'd enjoy hearing from you!
Remember... sharing a tip or commenting on an article are two ways to enter our back-to-school button bracelet CONTEST! You can also click LIKE us on Facebook and link this article on yours, then send me an e-mail so I can check it out!
Thanks for participating! Winner will be announced the 29th. Be sure to check out the cute way to teach shapes tomorrow and print off an adorable circle dangler + 6 posters!
It's All In A Name...
Part of the excitement of the first day of school for teachers, as well as the children, is meeting all of the new students! I try to make learning everyone’s name fun. So I do several activities that involve names. There are several report card standards that the Y5’s have that revolve around their name: being able to recognize it as well as write it, so they’re not only learning each other’s names, they are practicing standards. Woo-hoo for a first day win-win!
Have students sit in a circle.
Decide on a fun “movement pattern” like clap twice, pat knees twice.
For older students you can add snap fingers twice too.
Say the following after the movement:
_______________(child's name) ______________ (child's name)
How do you do?
Who's that sitting next to you?
Child says name of person sitting beside them.
Count to 3 slowly and if they don’t know then that child says their name.
This is also a fun and easy “busy activity” while you’re doing those crazy little “have-to-get-done’s”, or assessing to see where children are at.
I hope you got some name ideas to use for back-to-school.
Do you have a name tip that you’d like to share?
I’d enjoy hearing from you! email@example.com
"I am not a teacher, but an awakener." -Robert Frost
Fun and Fair Ways To Pick A Partner
When it comes to children choosing a partner they sometimes find it hard to make a decision, because they are bombarded with “Pick me, pick me!” as many friends start asking to be their partner.
Other children feel left out because no one wants to be their partner, still others continue to choose the same child to work with ALL of the time.
I try to mix things up and make things fun and fair, with no hurt feelings, by having students pick a partner in a variety of enjoyable, sometimes themed-ways, that often carry an educational purpose with them as well.
Here are some of my favorite tips:
It's Partner Time! Make this unique clock:
I hope you found some ideas here of how to make choosing a partner more fun and certainly more fair. (Hopefully “Partners Without Tears!”)
Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.
As always, if you have an enjoyable tip of how your students accomplish this task, I’d enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you can pop back tomorrow for more back to school teaching tips. Scroll down for another picking partners idea: Pairing Pears!
"Example moves the world more than doctrine." -Henry Miller