School just ended and June is quickly flying by. Already teachers are downloading some of my back to school packets, so I decided to start designing some new items.
There were quite a few moments when I needed one-on-one time with my Y5’s, on those busy first days, so I was always on the look out for something they could do independently, so I could assign bus numbers, take a first day photo, check how students were holding a writing utensil etc.
I designed the easy reader My First Day Of ___________________. with that in mind. Students trace and write a few main words and then cut and glue the pictures to their matching numbered boxes.
If you read your completed model to the students a head of time, as an explanation, they should be good to go.
Some children will need one-on-one help writing what their favorite thing of the day was for the last page.
To help expedite this, brainstorm with your students about all of the things you accomplished and have them raise their hands and share what their favorite thing was.
Write their answers on the board, so they have something to copy. You could also jot preschoolers’ answers down on their papers, as they share them.
Students then draw a picture of that activity or thing.
This not only makes a nice keepsake, but also is a great assessment tool to show you student-ability levels in cutting, holding a writing utensil, tracing, writing, listening and following directions etc.
If you can print pictures from your digital camera at school, take their photo doing their favorite thing and include it, to make this even more of a keepsake.
When everyone has completed their booklet, read it together as a whole group, to review concepts of print, and so that students are able to share it with their families when they get home.
The kindergarten sample is pictured, but I've also included a page for preschool, Y5's, 1st grade + a blank page for you to program for whatever else you teach.
Click on the link to view/download My First Day of School booklet
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“Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it.” –Thomas Jefferson
Fun First-Day-Of-School Treat Bags
If you have the time, and want to whip together something special, I designed a really easy, brown lunch bag-owl, which takes just a few minutes to put together.
If you own circle punches things will go even faster. Even if you don’t want to make these as a treat bag, they make a fun and easy art project for your students.
Have them stuff their lunch bag with tissue. Children could write: Whooo is wise? on the owl’s tummy. When they flip up the bag it can say: __________ (child’s name) that’s whoooo!
If you want to skip filling a bag with treats, but would still like to do something, you can buy some M&M’s, Reese's Pieces, or Skittles in bulk at Sam’s Club, fill the tiny Baggies they sell at Hobby Lobby etc. and staple the Baggie to my owl card.
I also found teachers that simply put an apple on their students' desks with an apple die-cut note attached that said: “WELCOME! You are the apple of my eye.” How about a golden delicious apple with a note that says: “Wishing you a golden year filled with delicious learning!”
OR… how about cutting out construction paper apples, punch a hole in the side, make a slit to the hole and slide a candy bracelet through so it looks a bit like a worm. Write your students’ names on the apples + “A sweet treat for a neat student!”
OR… how about an orange or a small snack Baggie with 3 candy orange slices, with a note that says: “Orange you glad you’re in _____________________ grade! Wishing you a sweet year!”
OR… a bag of peanuts (making sure no one has allergies) that says: “ I hope you’ll go simply nuts over all of the exciting lessons we’ll be studying this year!”
OR…a bag of microwave popcorn (They sell individual treat-bag size packages) attach a note that says: “Poppin’ by with a friendly first-day Hi, to wish you a terrific school year!” You could list that month’s popcorn words on the back.
One Florida teacher gives her students water bottles with flip up caps. They decorate their bottles with markers & stickers, and re-fill them for the entire month. They keep them in their desk so they stay hydrated all day.
Because my first science unit was dinosaurs, I had a basket filled with multi-colored dinosaurs sitting on the table.
My students got to choose one when they completed their tabletop lesson. That’s a big thrill for them, as well as an incentive to stay focused and finish their first day’s lesson.
Click on the link to view/download Owl Treat Bags
I also revamped a Lucky Charms note that was posted a zillion ways on the Internet. Simply buy a box of Lucky Charms for your kiddo's to munch & crunch and include this sweet note.
Click on the link to view/download Lucky Charm Treat Bag Note.
I also have a cute treat bag note that I made up for some easy and inexpensive treat bags.
Click on the link to view/download Treat Bag Note.
For other treat bag ideas, including bags for reading and writing, click on the link to download the Treat Bag Idea packet.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope your year is as sweet as the treats you give your students!
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Hope you can stop in tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
"Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand." -Chinese Proverb
Are you trying to think of something different to do as an icebreaker for a fun first day of school activity? How about a survey?
My Y5’s loved carrying around a clipboard and asking questions. It makes them feel “grown up” and important, or so they tell me when I ask them why everyone always wants to use my clipboards.
You can buy packs of 12 at Sam’s Club for a reasonable price. They came in handy for this purpose as well as having them write in the hallway when we went on measurement adventures, or outside when we went on scientific explorations to collect data.
They are great as lapboards for when I had students writing in a circle on the floor as well, so I certainly got my money’s worth!
- Gather your students together and brainstorm a list of yes or no questions and write them on the board.
- I’ve also included a list of suggestions.
- Each child chooses a different question.
- Set a timer and allow students to take their survey sheet and clipboard around to interview their new friends.
- Older students can write their friend’s name in the appropriate column, younger students can simply mark an X.
- The teacher should also participate.
- After the timer rings, give students a moment to add up each column.
- Gather students back into a circle to share their results.
- Everyone learns a little bit about everybody in a fun way.
- You can even graph results as a math extension.
This information can be found in my Back To School Packet. Click on the link to view/download it.
Until next time… have fun breaking that ice, making friends and melting hearts!
Thanks for visiting. I hope you can pop back tomorrow for more back to school tips.
Feel free to PIN anything you feel others might find helpful.
"No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big." -anonymous