"They may not be easy to see, but these are 5 things I want you to know about me!"
That's what the sentence says at the top of the paper.
It's a quick and easy icebreaker for the first day or first week of school, that’s a terrific writing prompt for September, and fun way to get to know your students.
When completed, they make a cute back to school bulletin board too!
Make sure you do one yourself, so you have an example to share with your students, so they know how to do the assignment, as well as get to know their new teacher!
Older students can draw their own self-portraits in the blank oval.
Remind them that this is just a section of their face from the nose up, or even just their eyes.
They should color their hair and eyes to represent themselves.
I find that younger students are less overwhelmed if they have some sort of template to follow and have a bit more fun with the activity if they don’t have to start from scratch.
You also won’t have to listen to whining: “I can’t draw a face; or “I don’t know how to draw.”
Little ones also tend to draw a tiny circle instead of a big one, or they draw an entire stick body.
You can include the template in your “Welcome to school summer letter” or Open House packet, and have students return them on the first day of school, so they can share with their new classmates right away.
Another plus of doing it this way, is that parents can help little ones write down the 5 things.
If you don’t do a summer letter or before school starts Open House, hand them out the first day of class and send them in backpacks for a home-school connection to be returned in the next few days.
Gather little ones on the floor in a circle and have them practice coming up and sharing in front of their new friends.
Older students can stand up beside their desks and read their list.
No matter what my students’ ages, I always have them applaud each child’s sharing. This is a big deal for many “shy” kids.
Writing in different colored markers jazzes things up.
If you have the time, turn this into even more of a keepsake, by tracing your students’ handprint on flesh-colored construction paper. Fold it over and cut once for 2 handprints.
Glue them “holding” the paper in such a way that they can "flop" open to reveal the paper.
You can punch a hole in the top and hang them back-to-back and suspend from the ceiling or line them up as a cute border, just below the ceiling in the hallway.
Click on the link to view/download 5 Things Icebreaker Portraits
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"By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn." -Latin Proverb
An Apple (Activity) A Day Keeps Boredom Away!
One of my favorite units that I did with my Y5’s was APPLES.
I think they really enjoyed it too, as visiting an apple orchard and picking 3 different kinds of apples was our first fieldtrip.
I feel it’s important to have lots of hands-on centers for little ones, to help them increase fine motor skills through cutting and gluing.
Doing centers helps with a variety of life skills and forces them to listen in order to follow directions.
As they become independent, they are empowered and their self-esteem soars.
Seeing their creations hung on our “Wall of Fame” in the hallway, also helped give them a sense of pride.
Knowing I was going to display their work, was a good incentive, to give their best effort.
Through art, I could also incorporate reading, writing, math, and science; sometimes all of them in one quick project, which covered a variety of report card standards.
The 92 – page Apple Art Projects Book has a large variety of activities in it and includes directions, patterns and pictures.
These make terrific center activities, something for students to do when they have completed other work, a nice home-school connection project to be given as homework, or something to tuck in your substitute folder.
The results are wonderful back to school bulletin boards, or hallway and door displays. Some can be suspended from the ceiling.
The crayon-melt apple poem was one of my favorites.
The poem introduced my students to rhyme; the rhyme taught them the science fact they needed to learn about apples; twisting the 3 color crayons through a sharpener was a terrific fine motor skill, and the result after I put a sheet of wax paper over their shavings and applied a warm iron was awesome!
I also reinforced the 3 colors with this rip and tear apple, which strengthened finger muscles as well.
Students enjoyed making the Life Cycle of an Apple on a paper plate, which was a quick and easy way to get some science in.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Art Projects Packet.
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“We should say to each [child]: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique -- you may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven.
You have the capacity for anything!” –Pablo Casals
A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Students
Stamp of Approval Stamps make a great icebreaker for the first week of school and a terrific way to get to know your students + they are an instant back to school bulletin board showcasing your new students!
Send a copy in your Welcome to School - Summer Letter, or tuck them in your Open House packet, so that they can be completed ahead of time, and then shared on the first day of school.
You can also show your example on the first day, so that your students can learn a little bit about you, and then send the stamps home as an assignment for that first day.
How to fill in a stamp:
Students can write, type (using a fun(ky) font), or cut out letters (like a ransom note), or use stickers to make their name.
This goes on the wavy line portion of the cancelled stamp, in the top left-hand corner.
The PLACE where they were born, goes around the top of the circle.
The YEAR they were born, goes on the bottom-middle of the circle.
The MONTH and DAY they were born, goes in the center of the circle.
Months should be abbreviated, unless they are 4 or less letters long.
Places and dates appear on real cancelled stamps; making it personal, makes this assignment more relevant and fun!
Students draw a self-portrait of themselves. (Just a headshot) This needs to be colored. Hair and eye color etc. need to be appropriate, so students can possibly guess whose picture belongs to whom, if the teacher wants to add that activity before the “real” student comes up to share.
Students need to think of their favorite things to do, their hobbies, or sports or “stuff” they are involved in, or possibly what they want to be when they grow up. Basically, anything that represents them or will help us get to know them.
After they have thought up their “list” they need to find pictures, clip art, or stickers of those things and glue them around their self-portrait.
Students write or cut out 3-5 words that describe them. These should be scattered around on their stamp.
Challenge older students to include a word that begins with the same letter as their name. i.e. I chose driven (Diane) for mine.
Students share their stamp with their classmates. I always had my students clap for each person when they were through.
Hang them in the hallway or on a b. board, along with the “Stamp of approval star student” poster.
To add some 3D effects, suspend some glittery stars of various sizes, from fish line, just above the board, at various lengths.
Click on the link to view/download Stamp of Approval Stamp activity
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“Teaching is a lighting of sparks and setting minds aflame;
it’s a creative mind that knows what kind of gasoline to throw on to get it glowing and burning even brighter the next day and the next…” -Diane Henderson
A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Students On The First Day, Or During The First Week Of School!
What’s On Your Mind? Is an easy and interesting way to get to know your students and a fun icebreaker.
You can do these in class, if you’re looking for a filler, or send them home to be done as a home-school connection, if you are pressed for time.
If you’d like to have an instant bulletin board, and activity for the first day of school, include the directions and a template in your “Welcome to school” summer letter packet or tuck it in your Open House packet if you have that before school starts like we do.
Be sure and make one for yourself, to post as an example. This is my sample that took about 15-minutes, using clip art + adding a photo of my husband and poodle pup Chloe.
I think you’ll enjoy doing it as will your students, no matter what the age group; everyone seems to like sharing a little bit about themselves in an entertaining way.
You could follow this up with students typing in words to their thoughts and making a word-art picture in tagxedo as well!
I did a sample for me and one for my husband so there would be a boy one. I filled in the caricature templates (pix above left), so they don't look as much like a silhouette as I would have liked.
If you want to use my boy and girl "head templates" click on the link. You'll need to change them to jpegs to use them in Tagxedo, otherwise find a sideview of some other clip art to import.
Click on the link to view/download the What’s On Your Mind activity packet.
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“Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
and nothing so great as real strength.” –St. Francis De Sales
Anchor Charts That Help Teach!
I LOVE making and using anchor charts!
A collection of similar ones make an instant bulletin board, single ones help decorate your room, and all of them give valuable information in a nutshell or remind students at a glance what to do, or how to do something.
They are also a wonderful teaching tool, as you can refer to them as a “checklist” before students begin their work, or remind them to refer to the charts before they ask you a question.
For example, a popular set of anchor charts is the Six Traits of Writing. As students begin their work, review the steps.
When they have completed their work, go through the posters again, asking the students the various questions. If they haven't answered "YES!" to all of them, then they aren't ready to hand in their paper.
Click on the link to view/download the Six Traits of Writing anchor charts
This collection also makes a great writing bulletin board. Simply place the posters on 6 rainbow-colored sheets of construction paper, laminate them and then staple them kittywhompus on a black background. Edge the board with a pencil border.
You can suspend some cut outs of pencils, pens, erasers, and paper from fishline, just above the board. Wahla! Instant b. board, that students can refer to all year long. If you don't have a bulletin board, simply put the black paper on a bare wall and frame it with the boarder.
"Said is dead; use these words instead!" has also been a very popular anchor chart. This too, could be part of your writing wall.
click on the link to view/download Said is Dead anchor chart.
I’ve spent the last week creating a variety of anchor charts that I think you’ll find helpful.
The above are about writing, but I also have ones for math as well as other subjects. A popular math set of anchor charts has been the addition and subtraction set.Click on the link to view/download addition-subtraction anchor charts.
I’ve also gotten permission from several new clip artists to use their work, so I think you’ll be delighted with the graphics as well.
I find that if one teacher needs it, there are lots more who will be happy someone asked!
When you pop back to see what’s new, to view all of the anchor charts and posters, click on the classroom management apple on my home page and then click on anchor charts.
To view the charts for today, click on this quick anchor chart link. Scroll down and choose whatever charts and posters you like. Enjoy.
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Do you have an anchor chart that you can’t live without? Post a comment and link here! We’d enjoy hearing from you.
"A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles." -Washington Irving
I’m A Te-riffic 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!
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. LOL.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 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
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Scroll down for a cute note to send home in your students' backpacks, on the last day of school.
A Cookie Glyph As A Fun Way To Get To Know Your New Students!
I dreamed this up because I thought it would not only be a fun icebreaker, but it would make an instant and really cute bulletin board as well.
You can do these with your students the first week of school as a get-to-know-you activity, or you can tuck the directions and a tan construction paper cookie into your Open House Packet for parents to help their child with, and then they can bring their cookie on the first day of school for them to hold up and share with their new friends.
We have our Open House before school starts. If you don't, you can tuck it into your "Welcome to my class" letter / school packet that many teachers send out during the summer or simply send it home the first day of school.
Use my pattern, or revamp it to make it simpler or a bit more involved to fit the age of your students or the time frame you have allotted to complete it in class.
Take a photo of each student on their 1st day of school. I use this photo in all sorts of keepsake things during September until I get their school pix back.
I make black & white copies on the photo setting of our copier and keep them handy, along with other photos that I take in a file folder on my desk.
Click on the link to view/print everything you need to do this back-to-school cookie glyph.
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I hope you can pop in tomorrow for another back-to-school idea.
"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some." -Charles Dickens