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! firstname.lastname@example.org
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly...) So everyone can keep smiling!
Our principal required that each teacher have a handbook for their classroom. I included mine in my Open House packet. Click on the link to view/print all of my handy handbooks.
When I first started teaching elementary, I was coming in as a high school teacher. It was difficult for me to “dream up" all of the handbooks and handouts that were required for the beginning of school.
That’s why I post them all on my website. I was grateful to Stephanie, a Y5 teacher, who lent me her handbook so I had a skeleton to start with!
Hopefully mine will jumpstart your brain and you can tweak them anyway you want; at least you're not reinventing the wheel and hopefully this will be a real time saver for you, especially if you are a beginning teacher.
I find all too often tho’ that parents are inundated with “paper mountain” from the school and have little time to read “everything”, so I made up this cute little ABC checklist to cover my main points and send it home with my students the first day of school. I feel that “short and sweet” is more apt to be read.
You can tweak mine to fit your needs. To help you do that, I’ve included one that has some of the information blank for you to type, cut and paste.
You can send this home the first day, tuck in your Welcome to school summer letter/packet, or your Open House packet.
Click on the link to view/print My ABC’s Of School Info Sheet
I hope this helps you get YOUR personal “paper mountain” of back-to-school “stuff” into a mole hill!
Thanks for visiting! Feel free to PIN anything from my site you think others will find helpful.
"The really great man is the man who makes every man feel great." -G.K. Chesterton
Do Yourself and Your Students A Favor and Give Them A Notebook!
This is tip #17 & my 100th blog article! We will be celebrating our 1st-year anniversary at the end of next month!
You can click on the writing notebook ideas separately or click on the entire packet at the end. Enjoy!
My young Fives will see a writing notebook all too soon as they progress through the elementary grades, but to get one at this age is really a big deal.
Since most of the chain supply stores and even Target, have them as huge loss leaders in August for their back-to-school sales, I can pick them up for as little as .10 cents, so for the small investment of $2.00, I can light up the faces of 20 children in a few seconds!
For a few dollars you can use a notebook for a variety of writing skills for your students.
Mine is at the introductory level of simply practicing how to write their name.
Get parents on board and work as a team and you will definitely see improvement.
I buy an assortment of colors and give them a choice. It doesn’t matter that they don’t stay on the lines. What I want them to do is just practice holding a pencil, crayon or whatever they can take delight in holding, and practice writing their name once each night. I want it to be fun, not a hassle.
You can see the “My Writing Notebook” sticker in the photo. I print these off on large Avery labels on my printer to add a bit of pizzazz.
Each time they bring their notebook in to be checked they get to pick out several stickers to decorate the front of their notebook as an incentive to bring them back.
Since writing their name on everything we do in class can be labor intensive, I need parental help in getting these little ones over the hump ASAP and the notebook has been key in accomplishing that.
Their hands “poop out” or “run out of gas” as one of my students so adorably put it!
The notebook is a great At-Home connection and is easy, quick and fun, especially if parents buy some glitter or gel pens or some goofy or wiggly fun pen to make writing time more exciting.
I include due dates in my newsletters as well as post them on my monthly calendar.
Students get an award certificate for a great-completed notebook and a trip to the treasure box.
To practice verbally expressing themselves, I have them share their favorite page of their notebook with their classmates.
Parents often ask me: “How can I help my child learn how to write?” So I typed up a list of fun things they can do to help strengthen their muscles. I tuck this list in the notebook. Click on the link to view/print hand-muscle building tip list. I also include a diagram of how to hold a pencil correctly.
The other thing I tuck in the notebook is a tracing guide of the alphabet. Click on the link to view/print the alphabet-writing guide.
I include a letter explaining the notebook to parents and asking for their help. If you’d like to see mine, to use it as a guide to tweak and develop your own, click on the link.
Since I started using the notebooks I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in my students’ penmanship, muscle coordination, and self-esteem.
What used to take me ‘til the middle of November with some of my little ones is now accomplished by the beginning or middle of October. Some really diligent students (and parents) who had no preschool, are set by the end of September.
If you have older students, decide what you want the notebooks to be used for, and make it a daily or weekly writing assignment that is simple, short and fun, so they will WANT to write. I give my college students ideas for them to journal about in their notebooks each week.
The notebooks can be kept in their desks to work on during free time, or kept at home like a “secret diary”.
I hope this idea is one that you can use and gets you excited to plan for your new class.
A quick and easy handwriting activity for you to do the first day of school is simply a Welcome To School "Trace & Write" Click on the link to view/print several different kinds.
If you want the entire writing notebook packet click on the link to view/print it.
Staples started their back-to-school penny sales this week. Click on the link to check out the deals! Every week they offer new things so start watching for the notebooks to go on sale! Staples allow teachers to buy 25 of their penny items here in MI. I imagine that would be a National thing.
I hope Willie helps your students as much as he’s helped mine wiggle their way to knowing their ABC’s!
Be sure to check back tomorrow when I'll have another fun back-to-school tip!
Do you have a fun tip you’d like to share? I’d enjoy hearing from you! email@example.com