1-2-3 Come Get Ready For School With Me!
Are you getting excited to go back to school and looking for some quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to welcome your kiddo's back?
I think you'll enjoy the Pencil Packet that I just finished.
Large office supply stores and retailers are decorated with back to school stuff; many offer great loss leaders. One of them is usually a pack of pencils for a dollar.
Choose either a pencil tag in color or the black and white tag and run off on yellow construction paper. Punch a hole in the top and tie to a pencil and you're done!
You can also print off the cute bookmarks and place both on your students' desks for a special "Welcome to school" surprise.
To keep the theme going, print the large pencil on card stock and hang on your doorknob. I've included two on a page so you can hang them on the front and back of your door, or put one up above your pencil sharpener.
For a sweet back to school bulletin board, print off the pencil template, make an extra copy of your students' 1st day of school photos; trim and glue to the center of the pencil and write their name on the top.
Scatter them on your b. board with a school-themed boarder. Using a piece of cloth or burlap as your background, adds a nice touch. Your caption: Mr(s). _______________'s sharp new bunch of students.
Finally, there are 2 student roster posters. You can fill in your students' names, or pass the other one around, for everyone to sign.
Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Pencil Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Here's hoping this year is filled with your sharpest students ever!
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"An education is not received, it is achieved." -Unknown
"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.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
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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.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can drop in tomorrow for another back to school idea.
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“Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
and nothing so great as real strength.” –St. Francis De Sales
Proud Pupil Peacock Progress Pals
Now there's a tongue twister to rival Peter Piper!
These adorable birds are a wonderful way to build a student’s self-esteem, show progress and let others know what students are learning in your class.
They are easy and simple to implement and can last the entire year, making a nice keepsake of all that a child has accomplished in preschool Y5’s, kindergarten etc.
At the beginning of the year, you can keep the peacocks in a student file folder or their portfolio.
As students learn new report card standards and pass assessments, earning feathers, the peacocks acquire lots of plumage.
Design a makeshift bulletin board in the hallway to display your students’ progress for the rest of the year and watch their self-confidence grow as they get to “strut their stuff!”
Your caption can include that concept:” _______________’s students are strutting their stuff. (S)he is so proud of their accomplishments”! Or “Look what ___________________’s students have accomplished this year! We’re proud peacock pupils who have earned the right to strut our stuff!”
Here’s how to make a Proud Peacock Progress Pal:
Run off the templates on brightly colored construction paper.
You can have students cut out feathers as they complete an assessment, or have them pre-cut by a room helper. To expedite things I have them pre-cut as well as the circles.
Students could also color these in, but I like the extra pizzazz the construction paper makes.
Students cut out their peacock and write their name on the tummy.
If you want to add some 3D pizzazz, students can add wiggle eyes, 4 rhinestones at the top of the bird’s head, a 3D beak and yellow construction paper feet.
When a student passes an assessment, the child adds feathering detail with a complimentary colored marker and the teacher writes down what report card standard they have mastered.
Feathers should be glued to the backs of the birds in an alternate ABAB pattern. The next row should be another set of 2 different colors.
Click on the link to view/download Proud Peacock Progress Pal
I hope you and yours enjoy showing off some appropriate pride this year, as they learn how to spread their wings and fly.
Do you have any tips of how you build your students’ self-esteem or show what they are accomplishing in your class?
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"Children learn more from what you are than what you teach." -W.E.B. DuBois
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
Getting-To-Know-You Via A Glyph! A Fun Icebreaker For Back-To-School!
Since some schools start back-to-school in the beginning of August (The Charter School across the street from me goes back August 6th!) I wanted to post a few ideas you could do with your students the 1st week, that would be fun as a “get-to-know” your new friends idea.
This is also something fun to do with your own children as a summer activity or to plug in if you home school.
Bio-glyphs are simply glyphs about yourself. It's a great way to learn information about your new students and for them to make friends in a fun way.
Run off a copy of my masters and then read the bio-glyph to the kids.
Draw the “kinds” of hair, noses, eyebrows, mouths, ears, and cheeks on your white board as you read them one at a time, so that if they apply to the child they can copy them on their paper.
If you are doing this with older students who can read, simply run off a copy of my master glyph and pass it out to them.
Revamp my glyph to make this easier and simpler to fit the age of your students or the time you have allowed.
Make sure you do one for yourself so you have an example. The ones in the photograph are mine and my husband Daniel's. He's a wonderful guinnea pig and sport, who is great for bouncing ideas off of.
As a fun extension, you can number and post the completed bio-glyphs, along with the key, in the hallway so that they flip up.
Have students write their names on the BACK of their glyph in such a way so that when a person flips them up, they can read their name.
For added fun, put a real photograph (1st day of school picture) of the student on the wall, under the glyph.
You could also have them become detectives and make it a "solve the bio-glyph mystery game."
Set a timer. Give students a certain amount of time to ask questions of their new friends to help them try and figure out which bio-glyph belongs to whom.
Have them write down their answers on the sheet provided.
You can award a prize to the person who has the most correct. This is a fun way for students to learn about each other and a great ice breaker.
Or… you can simply have each child come up and share their bio-glyph with the class by explaining it.
Click on the link to view/download the Bio-Glyph Packet.
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Be sure and pop back tomorrow for a fun back-to-school Cookie Glyph
"The sure way to teach easily and successfully, is to awaken interest and kindle enthusiasm." -Tyron Edwards