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Back To School Ideas

Completing The Main Article

With These Last Two Ideas Numbers 5 and 6

Stamp your way to 100-Day!

Make a 100-Day Banner/Pennant:

  • 100-Day pennants, back to school ideas, ideas to do for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day ideasSimply make a template from my pennant master if you want to make smaller banners out of regular size construction paper.
  • A small banner will fit about 50 stamps on one side so you'll have to print both sides.
  • If you use extra-large construction paper, you can stamp just the front.
  • It's a good idea to make a sample to show students what the end result will look like.

  • Trace the the banners on a variety of light-colored construction paper and then cut them out.
  • Write students’ names in glitter glue or puffy paint for extra pizzazz.
  •  As a center activity, each day have students get their pennant from the “pennant pile”.  This is a safe place (The lid from a copy paper box used as a basket, works great. Place it on a window ledge or shelf).
  •  They take their pennant to the stamping center and put the stamp-for-the-day on it.
  • back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for counting to 100 dayThe stamps can be seasonal.
  • If you’re studying apples, have an apple stamp. Pumpkins are great for October.
  •  Students decide if they want to use different colored stamp pads or have their banners be all one color.
  • I chose brown ink for mine.
  • If a child is absent make sure that you or a student helper stamps theirs.
  •  I have a zillion stamps so this is no problem.  If you don’t, ask other teachers if you can borrow theirs just for the day.
  • You can also combine stamps and stickers, or have students copy and draw a secret symbol that you put on the board for that day.
  • stickers, back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for counting to 100 dayOn 100-Day everyone should have 100-Stamps.
  • Really Good Stuff has a 100-Day stamp perfect for that last day  (“Way Cool!”)
  •  For my 98th day I have a caterpillar with wiggle eyes because we wiggled our way to 100 day. 
  • On the 99th day we metamorped into a butterfly and have fluttered our way to 100 Day.  Let your students make a 3-D butterfly for their banners so the butterflies look like they are popping off the page and flying!
  •  Each child needs 3 stickers to make one.  Students put the 1st sticker down.
  • The second sticker they cut the “thorax” off so they have two wings.
  •  Put the wings back-to-back on the 3rd sticker so only the thorax (middle part of the butterfly) now remains sticky.
  • Press this sticky part down really hard on the middle of the 1st butterfly and rub it with your fingernail.  Fold each of the wings up and crease. Wahla flying butterfly!
  •  If you've used extra-large consruction paper, on 100-Day give them die-cut 100-Day numbers and letters to glue on the back of their pennants.
  • Wow! Everyone has a super keepsake to take home, and you have a fun way to count to 100 as they admire their banner and count the stamps and stickers with you.
  •  You could also punch a hole in each corner and string their pennants up from the hallway ceiling for a few days.
  • Click on the link to view/print the 100-Day banner things.

100-Day Posters:

  • Purchase a poster and X things off or color them in.  Really Good Stuff has magnetic ones that you  can add “things” to.
  • back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting to 100 day ideasMy poster is a gumball machine.
  • I keep it on my white board.  I laminated it so that I can reuse it each year.  Everyday as part of our calendar routine someone X’s a gumball.
  • On the 100th Day of school, each child can earn a penny for my real gumball machine. They think it’s “way cool” that I bring a gumball machine to class and let them put a penny in, after they have completed their Table Top lessons.
  • I tell them that they need to “chews” to be a good student all morning, stay on task and complete their work so they can earn that penny to help celebrate the day!
  • They LOVE this idea and are anxious to get down to business. You can order counting up to 100-Day posters from Really Good Stuff.  
  • Unfortunately when I checked, the gumball one was discontinued.
  • Be sure and pop back tomorrow when I’ll be posting “Count to 100-Day with a THEME!” 
  • Lots of creative ideas to get you excited!
  • You'll just love wiggling, chugging and fluttering your way to 100-Day!
  • If you dropped in to see "Wiggles" today he'll be posted tomorrow.  This article, as you can see, needed to be split into many parts!

Counting To 100-Day Continues...

Here are ideas 3 and 4

Drop something into a jar!

back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting to 100 day ideas100-Day Jar:

  • The Dollar Store sells all sizes of plastic jars.
  • Buy TWO and have them be your “Counting our way to 100-Day!” jars.
  • Decide what “thing” you want to count and then put them in the jar.
  •  I like the look and feel of marbles and so do my Y5’s.
  • I’m also fond of saying: “Don’t lose your marbles!” for a variety of reasons. (We have the games Hungry Hippos and Hungry Frogs! Arggg to the noise, but they love them.)
  •  Print off my labels. One label says: Counting our way to 100 Day.  The other label says: Counters for !00-Day. 
  •  Think of something easily accessible, that won’t break or spoil and is cheap.
  • You might also want to consider what your “theme” if any, will be, that you are counting to 100 around.
  •  Perhaps you want it to be something the children can have as a prize to be divided among them when it’s 100-Day, or perhaps you want your students to be able to eat what’s in the jar!
  • Put your jars by your calendar center as it’s a nice part of the day to run this into.
  • Click on the link to view/print the 100-Day counting jar things.

back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, ideas for counting to 100 day

 

Add A Piece To A Puzzle Each Day!

100-Day Puzzle:

  • back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for counting to 100 dayBuy a 100-piece puzzle at The Dollar Store. I just bought a Spiderman one because my Y5 boys LOVE Spiderman and I toss him in during our spider unit. 
  •  The caption over the puzzle will be “We’re caught in a web of learning!” It will be a hint about what the puzzle will be, so they can enjoy making guesses.
  • Also buy a piece of tag board (They sell it there 2 for a Dollar.)
  •  Put the puzzle together on the poster board.
  • When you’re done, flip the puzzle over.

  • Number the pieces.
  • Slide the puzzle off the tag board and trace each piece.
  • Number the pieces on the tag board.
  • Put 10 pieces in snack Baggies and number the baggies.
  • Keep the snack Baggies in 2 large baggies in a basket under the puzzle.
  •  Each day pick a child to put that day’s puzzle piece on the board with a glue dot.
  • If you use peel off glue dots you can re-use the poster.
  •  Since this is so easy and inexpensive I toss the students’ “It’s My Turn” Popsicle sticks in a basket, and have someone choose one. That child gets to take the puzzle home as a 100-Day prize.
  • I let them know this ahead of time so that they can look forward to it.
  • You can also make guessing what the puzzle is, while they are counting up to the big day, a prize thing too.
  •  Scroll down if you want to see the last mini-sub article about 100-Day pennant-banners and posters!
 Fun Projects For You To Make Now

One of the things I work on during the summer is getting my things ready for counting up to 100-Day. I’ve listed some of the “stuff” that I do.  I hope you get a few ideas for your students and become excited for back-to-school.

I’m endeavoring to keep my articles short, so I will post only two ideas on a page.  There are 6 ideas, so keep scrolling down for two more “mini-sub articles” if you want to read all of the tips for this topic!

back to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, counting up to 100 day ideasback to school ideas, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for counting up to 100 DayIndex Card Booklet:

  • Make an index card-number flip book. You can buy spiral bound, 50-page index packs, at any office supply store. 
  •  
  •  Some come in packs of 2, so you can make one for a special teacher-friend as a surprise gift.
  • Tuck in a note that says:  “I’m so glad I can count on you!  Here’s wishing you 100-Days and more, of fun this year!”
  •  
  • I like the index cards that come in pastel or neon colors.

  • Office Max has them in a two-pack for $4.79.
  • I made several covers for you to choose from.
  • Print one, cut it out and glue it to the front of the index card.
  • Number them from 1-50 with a WATERCOLOR marker as all others, including a flair, will bleed through.
  • Then flip the pack over and finish writing the numbers 51 to 100 on the back pages.
  •  I’ve also made the little friend note if you opt to buy a two-pack.
  • Tie some curling ribbon around the book, and make someone feel appreciated.
  • Click on the link to view/print the 100-Day index card things.

 back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting up to 100 day ideas, counting with sammy snake to 100 dayback to school ideas, first day of school ideas, counting up to 100 Day ideas, Sammy Snake:

  • Count your way to 100-Day With Sammy! 
  • Click on the link to view/print this adorable alliterative tongue-twisting story about Sammy and how he sneaks to school with Sally.
  •  He will slither his way into your heart.  Make an easy sock puppet pal too!
  • Counting to 100-Day with Sammy Snake
  • Scroll down if you want to see the 2nd mini-sub article about 100-Day jars and puzzles.

We’re “Pear Pairs!"

In the above article, I wrote a blog about fun and fair ways to pick partners. 

I was diddling with homonyms and fooling around with the word pear and pair and thought making pears as puzzles would also be a fun way to pick a partner. 

A bunch of alphabet, shape and number pears later, I had a 48-page packet!  Click on the link to view/download Pear Pair Puzzles

 fun ways to pick a partner, back to school ideas, classroom management tipsback to school ideas, fun ways to pick a partner, classroom management tipsThis packet will be free for an entire year, then it will be updated and put in Diane's Dollar Deals in my TpT shop.  Click on the link to pop on over.

Here's What To Do:

Run off the pears on yellow or green construction paper. Laminate the sheets.

    • Cut them out and then cut the puzzles apart.
    • Put the uppercase letters in one bag and the lowercase letters in another.
    • Explain to your students the homonym pears and pairs.
    • Make sure that you only use enough letters as you have children present.
    • Have ½ your students choose a puzzle piece from one bag and the other ½ choose from the other bag.
    • When everyone has a pear puzzle piece, have students go find their partner so they can make a pear pair!
    • This can simply be a game of who can make a pear pair the fastest as a fun review, or as a fun and fair way of choosing a partner for whatever activity you have planned.
    • Keep the pears in separate envelopes when not in use.
    • You can also use them as a Memory Match game, or as an independent matching game.
    • Make an extra set to send home with a struggling child, or make individual booklets and have students TRACE the letters and then take them home to make their own game.
  • I’ve given you a blank set for you to dream up other ways to use them.
  • There is a plain pear as well as one with a face on it.
  • You could make sets for compound words, or contractions.
  • Make up equations on one ½ and answers on the other.
    • back to school ideas, classroom management tips, fun ways to pick a partnerAnother fun “pear pair” is to make a personal one for each student.
    • This is perfect for younger students who need to learn how to recognize their name as a report card standard.
    • Glue a student’s school picture on the top and print their name on the bottom puzzle piece,
    • Scatter the pear pieces on the floor and have students find their photo and matching name as a fun “Name Game Pear-Pair”!
  • You can make a set with a color word on the bottom.
  • Run these pears off on that color of construction paper.
  • You can use these for your word wall or other color activities.
    • back to school ideas, fun ways to pick a partner, classroom management tipsback to school ideas, classroom management, fun ways to pick a partnerI’ve also made a set with a shape matched to a word.
    • These can be used to pick a partner if you are only using a few children. (6 or less.)
    • If you plan to use shape cards for partners, run them off on 4 different colors so that you will have 24 cards.
    • I’ve also made a cover for these, so you can run these sheets off and your students can make a shape puzzle booklet or a game of their own to take home.
    • This booklet is ideal to get some cutting practice in, as it’s only a few pages.
    • Instead of having a rectangular booklet like the letter or number booklet, have students cut out the pears.  Seems perfect, as this is a “shape” booklet!
    • To give this booklet more pizzazz, have your students COLOR the shapes in rainbow colors and then TRACE the shape word in the matching color.
    • This is a fun way to teach the colors of the rainbow and review colors with your students at the same time you are reviewing shapes! (More bang for your “time” buck!)
    • There is also a set with dots and numbers and numbers and number-words.
    • I’ve also made covers if you want to run them off so that students can make their own booklet.
    • This is a great sequencing activity.
    • Students can also number the sets of circles, color them, put a smilie sticker in one of the dots on each page, or have fun using bingo dot markers at a center!
    • back to school ideas, fun ways to pick a partner, classroom management
    • Run off just one pear number and have students use 2 bingo colors to show a math equation and then write it on the pear. i.e., The #9 pear has 4 pink bingo dots + 5 green  bingo dots = 9 total bingo dots.
    • If you want to use numbers as pear pairs and you have 20-22 students, make a set of yellow and a set of green pears.
    • You can also use the number-word pear pairs as well and add a 3rd color if you have more students than 22, such as a light yellow and a bright yellow, or a lime green and an emerald green.
  • I wish you a delightful pairing up with your favorite person!  Have a warm and wonderful day!
"The secret of joy in wok is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." - Pearl S. Buck

Learning To Count By 5’s And Counting Up To 100-Day

Via a Fun And Interactive Bulletin Board for a Great First Day of School Activity!

I only had to skip count by 10’s to 100 with my Y5’s as a report card standard, but I know this is a standard for K’s and first grade. 

A fun way to do this everyday as well as to count up to 100 for that special day, is to make this quick and easy bulletin board.

counting by 5's, bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day ideas, bulletin boards for September, math bulletin boards, kindergarten bulletin boards, first grade bulletin boards, counting bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day of school activities, back to school ideas, first day of school lessons, first day of school ideas, counting by 5's ideas, counting by 5's lessons, counting by 5's lessons, skip counting ideas, skip counting lessons, skip counting activities, nteractive bulletin boards, Here’s How:

  • Choose a background color that you will be happy with all year long, yellow and white look nice, but I’ve also used wallpaper that’s neutral in color and has a textured look and feel.

  • This is not that expensive if you only buy one roll and you can usually find discounted rolls that have been discontinued at most paint and hardware stores.

  • This display works great next to your calendar center.
  • You can put it up on the wall if you don’t have another bulletin board.
  • Choose a plain-colored scalloped border.
  • Black will help it pop and looks great all year.

  • The caption for this board could be: High Five’s For ______________________’s kindergartners/first graders!
  • Cut the letters out with a die-cut machine, or print them out on your computer.
  • On the first day of school have a room helper trace and cut out your students’ hands, or send a note home and the paper in your Open House packets to have this already done for you by the parents.

  • counting by 5's, bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day ideas, bulletin boards for September, math bulletin boards, kindergarten bulletin boards, first grade bulletin boards, counting bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day of school activities, back to school ideas, first day of school lessons, first day of school ideas, counting by 5's ideas, counting by 5's lessons, counting by 5's lessons, skip counting ideas, skip counting lessons, skip counting activities, nteractive bulletin boards, Make a sample of your own hand and explain to children that they can decorate their hand with fingernails, and rings.
  • If you want to give the hands a bit more pizzazz and a 3-D affect you can give them rhinestones for their rings.
  • Boys may enjoy wiggle eyes, but don’t be surprised if they want a rhinestone too.
  • You could make the rhinestone their birthstone, or simply give them a choice of colors.
  • Use glue dots so there’s no dry time involved.

  • For the girls’ nails they can color them as if they have nail polish on.
  • If you want to add more pizzazz you can go over them with real glitter nail polish or glitter glue.

  • If you want to use the board to show a specific pattern, use the construction paper that they are tracing their hand on in two or 3 different colors.

  • Left handed children should have their left hand traced for more opportunities to compare and contrast, count, or graph this board.
  • Write the child’s name in small print along the bottom border of the hand.
  • Print off a copy of the two posters and mount them on construction paper.
  • These can be your school colors or something that you can live with for the entire year, or have the class vote on what colors they want.
  • If you have 20 children in your class you have the perfect set of hands.
  • If you have less, you will have to make extra hands,; if you have more, sprinkle them on the corners of the posters, heading and bulletin board.
  • Put the rest of the hands, 5 in a row, across your bulletin board.
  • counting by 5's, bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day ideas, bulletin boards for September, math bulletin boards, kindergarten bulletin boards, first grade bulletin boards, counting bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day of school activities, back to school ideas, first day of school lessons, first day of school ideas, counting by 5's ideas, counting by 5's lessons, counting by 5's lessons, skip counting ideas, skip counting lessons, skip counting activities, nteractive bulletin boards, Do NOT number them.

  • On the FIRST day of school, when you are doing the calendar, choose a child to put the number 1 on the thumb of the first hand.
  • When all 5 fingers of that hand have been counted (5 days of school) the child whose handprint that is, gets to choose a marker and write the big number 5 on that hand.
  • Even tho’ the numbers are not written on the hand, you can still count by 5’s everyday that you are doing this calendar.

  • You may want to post an already numbered poster to help them “see” and visualize this.
  • I’ve made posters you can print off.
  • You can also count by 1’s.
  • If you want to make V-arrows connecting 2 of the hands when you get a group of 10 done, you can also use the board to count by 10’s!
  • At the end of the year, everyone can take their hand print home.
  • counting by 5's, bulletin board ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day ideas, bulletin boards for September, math bulletin boards, kindergarten bulletin boards, first grade bulletin boards, counting bulletin boards, back to school ideas, first day of school activities, back to school ideas, first day of school lessons, first day of school ideas, counting by 5's ideas, counting by 5's lessons, counting by 5's lessons, skip counting ideas, skip counting lessons, skip counting activities, nteractive bulletin boards, I have lots of other 100 Day ideas at this link.  Simply click and scroll down to download as many as you want. 100 Day Stuff
  • Thanks for visiting.  Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find useful.
  • I hope you can drop in tomorrow for more back-to-school tips.

"A Pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Unknown"

e.com
1-2-3 Come Build A Student's Self-Esteem With Me
 
Because I'm currently on vacation, I wanted to post an "oldie but goodie" very popular download, that was extremely successful with my students. This packet was designed before I had all of the cool fonts, clip art licenses and design programs that I currently use, but it's still a wonderful idea that I hope you can use.
 
smiling children, back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, When I taught high school, I remember running into a mother of a student years later.  She shared with me that her son still carried a dog-eared scrap of paper around in his wallet, with a list of positive qualities his classmates had wrote about him in my class!  Wow.  I never forgot that conversation, and the impact something so simple can have on a person. 
 
I think it's extremely important to build a young child's self-esteem, and therefore their confidence.  Various studies have shown that children who are willing to take risks learn to read faster!
 
A child needs to feel confident to venture a guess, and make a mistake in order to learn.  A fun way you can do this, is to make a Smile File for them. 
back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school,
                                
Here's How: Write your students' names on manila file folders.
  • Run off my letter + the note to parents, explaining the file and requesting a family photo. Send them home the first week of school.
  •  
  • Buy a pack of various sizes of smilie face stickers for the Award calendars. 
  • Run off the "I love my family!" hearts on a variety of colored construction paper.
  •  
  • back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, Print off the "Happy Grams From Your Teacher" and fill them out as soon as you know your students well enough to make a "special" comment about them.

  •  Keep the folders in a crate under your desk for easy access.
  • back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, Run Off "This is your day!" sheets.  Keep them and all the other masters in the crate.
  • As soon as students return their forms and photo, pass out the folders and have them cut and glue their "pieces & parts" together.

  • back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, Whatever system you use for choosing children, pick a child each day to have your class fill out a "This is your day!" sheet, so you can get these completed the first month of school.
  • Whenever you pass out certificates or other paper awards, have students put them in their Smile File.
  • Periodically choose work that children will put in their Smile File, so you have things to show parents for Parent Teacher conferences.
  • If a member of their family comes to help in the class or chaperone, take a photo of them with mom, dad, grama, grampa working with them.  They can glue the photo to a sheet of construction paper, write about it and put it in their Smile File.
  • It's important to give students a choice of things they want to put in the Smile File.  Perhaps they got an "I love you" note from mommy in their lunch box, or a 100% on a spelling test, or were Star Student; you can make copies of things so they can take originals home.
  •  back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, At the end of each day, pass out a smilie sticker to anyone who has put a smile on the teacher's face ALL day.  In other words, this student has made wise choices (not moved their apple or other behavior management token, or been in the Time Out chair etc.), has completed their work or whatever else you have explained to your students as the guidelines for receiving a sticker.
  •  Children put their smilie face sticker on the appropriate day of the week.
  • This Smile File then, can work as a great behavior modification program as well.  You can reward students who have gotten a smile for the entire week/month if you want to.
  • I've designed monthly certificates for this purpose, which of course they can collect and put in their Smile File

  • back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, Have students paperclip certificates so they can stay organized from other things. 
  • If you'd like a writing extension for the calendar, post a list of one-word "happies" that students can choose from, to write on their calendar of what made them smile the most that day.
  • I've given you a list of suggestions that you can keep posted.
  • You should make one for yourself too!  I keep my favorite drawings, cards, "scribbles of love!"  and little notes from parents and students in mine. 
  • Then, when you're having one of those "I feel so unappreciated!"  days... you can sneak a peak at your Smile File and feel "paper hugged" The file will help you remember why you became a teacher in the 1st place and hopefully give you a burst of feel-good energy. 
back to school ideas, back to school activities, building students' self esteem, smile files, classroom management tips, ideas for the first week of school, activities for the first week of school, I hope this idea brings a smile to your students' faces and helps build their self-esteem.  Who knows, maybe someday you'll meet a mom somewhere and they'll tell you their child still has their Smile File
 
Click on the link to view/download the Smile File Packet  Thanks for visiting!  Feel free to PIN anything you think others will find useful. 

"I am not a teacher, but an awakener." -Robert Frost

  Surveys Are Fun Ice Breakers For The First Day Of School

clipboards, survey, icebreakers for the first day of school,back to school ideas, fun ideas for the first day of school, first day of school activities

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!

surveys, first day icebreakers, fun icebreakers for the first day of school, back to school ideas, ideas for back to schoolDirections:

  • 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.

ideas for the first day of school, activities for the first day of school, icebreakers for the first day of school, fun first day activities, getting to know your students activities, survey templates,Feel free to PIN anything you feel others might find helpful.

"No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big." -anonymous

Fun and Fair Ways To Pick A Partner

tips on how to pick a partner, fun ways to pick partners, classroom management tips, back to school ideas, ideas for back to schoolWhen 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:

  • Find someone wearing the same color as you are.
  • Your partner is sitting on your left/right.
  • Count off by 2’s, 3’s, or 5’s etc.  Remember your number. Look at the numbers on the board and see who your number match is.  (5 is matched with 10, 15 with 20 etc.)
  • I buy stick-on bows at Christmas when they go on sale and make sure that I have at least 12 different kinds with matches.  I put them in two different seasonal bags and then have children choose a bow, stick it on and go find their partner.

partner clock, picking a partner ideas, ideas for picking parners, back to school ideas, tips for back to school, classroom management tipsIt's Partner Time! Make this unique clock:

  • Reinforce colors, shapes, numbers, telling time and have fun spinning by making my Partner Time Clock. 
  • Laminate the students’ clocks when they are returned; help them punch a hole in the center with a protractor, insert a brass brad and use a paperclip for a spinner!
  • Click on the link to view/print everything you need.
ideas for picking a partner, classroom management tips, back to school ideasA Deck Of Cards:
  • Sort cards in a deck of playing cards so that matches come out perfect and then have students choose a card and find their “mate”.
  • i.e. the 2 of diamonds is partner with the 2 of spades or however you want to make it.
Bulletin Board Border:
  • I also use seasonal bulletin board border like apples or pumpkins and cut the pieces apart putting upper or lowercase letters on each one.
  • Make sure you have only enough apples for the amount of children you have present that day.
  • Put them in two different baskets/bags, (one for uppercase and one for lowercase) and then have ½ the students choose an uppercase apple and ½ choose a lowercase one.  Give them a minute to go find their partner.
  • You can do the same with different colored shapes.
  • Cut apart compound words. Write the answers on the board to assist students in finding their partner.
fun ways to pick partners, classroom management tips, back to school tips, ideas for back to school Puzzles: Who's My Partner?
  • Use contractions and have them find their match. Write the answers on the board to help them out.  Use the squirrel/acorn cards in my free Take Action With Contractions Help Book
  • Partner puzzles, tips on choosing a partner, picking partner ideas, back to school ideas, classroom management tips,
  • Use my seasonal  Partner Monthly Puzzles.  Like the apple pictured here for September or in February run off a copy of my heart on 12 different colors of construction paper, laminate the paper and then cut the hearts apart. 

  • Put them in two different “valentine” envelopes and have the children choose who will be their Valentine for the day.  Click on the link to check them out.

  • Run off, laminate and cut up my Number Puzzles, where the number 3 and the number word are partners, or the number 3 and the set of 3 stars are partnered. 
  • There are 3 ways to make puzzles with these cards and a variety of other ways to use them.   Click on the link to check them out.

 I hope you found some ideas here of how to make choosing a partner more fun and certainly more fair.  (Hopefully “Partners Without Tears!”)

back to school ideas, back to school activities, picking partner activities, picking partner ideas, fair ways to pick partners, picking parners templates, apple puzzles, number puzzles, classroom management tips, 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.  diane@teachwithme.com

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

A Cookie Glyph As A Fun Way To Get To Know Your New Students!

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Cookie Glyph:

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.

cookie glyph, back to school ideas, first day of school ideas, open house ideas, back to school activities, back to school lessons, first day of school activities, first day of school lessons, september bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, cookie glyph, back to school glyphs, first week of school lessons, first week of school ideas, back to school bulletin boards, back to school bulletin board ideas, glyphs for september, glyphs for back to school, getting to know your students ideas, activities for getting to know your students, ice breaker activities for the first day of school,  glyphs, icebreakers for the first day of school Thank you for visiting today.  Feel free to PIN anything you think others might find helpful.

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!

During the first few weeks of school, I always tried to plug in quick, easy and fun little ways for my students to get to know their classmates.  I felt it helped build community and a caring classroom.   It's amazing the diversity we have in our schools today!

Even if you homeschool, this is an interesting activity to do with your kiddos.  I'm always surprised at the answers my own children come up with when we're playing games or chatting.  Just when I think I really know their tastes and what not, they toss me a curve. 

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A really fun way to get to know your students is via a Bio-glyph.

This is simply a glyph about oneself, and a great way to learn all sorts of information. 

Completed projects make an awesome bulletin board or hallway display.

Here's how:  Run off a copy of my masters.  The girls will need an oval head, the boys a circle. 

I've found that by providing a template for students to follow, things are easier.  Little ones tend to draw small and write big ( Go figure...) 

When everyone has the appropriate template, read each direction slowly, and then repeat once.  Remind your students to listen carefully.   Because this is a listening and following directions activity, glyphs provide "proof" that a child is or isn't doing that.

glyphs, free glyphs, bio glyph, back to school activities, icebreakers, back to school icebreakers, way to get to know your students, data collectionDraw the “kinds” of hair, noses, eyebrows, mouths, ears, and cheeks, on your white board as you read the directions for each one.   This will help students know what the various shapes look like, or how curly hair can be drawn.

If you are doing this with older students who can read, simply run off a copy of my master glyph (it provides samples) and pass it out to them.  You can also revamp my glyph to make this  easier and simpler to fit the age of your students or the time that you have allowed.

Make sure you do one for yourself so that you have an example. I did one for me and one for my husband.  He's a wonderful guinnea pig and good 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.

glyphs, free glyphs, bio glyph, back to school activities, icebreakers, back to school icebreakers, way to get to know your students, data collectionLater, 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 children become detectives and turn this into 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.  They can write down their answers on the "Whose Glyph?" sheet provided.

glyphs, free glyphs, bio glyph, back to school activities, icebreakers, back to school icebreakers, way to get to know your students, data collectionWhich person got the most correct?  ( I've included a super-sleuth certificate you can give them.)  How did you do?  This is a fun way for students to learn about each other and a great ice breaker for back to school.

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.

glyphs, free glyphs, bio glyph, back to school activities, icebreakers, back to school icebreakers, way to get to know your students, data collectionThanks for visiting.  If you're looking for more glyphs, click on the link to pop over to that section of my site. I tried to dream up one for all of the seasons.  The Cookie Glyph and Apple Glyph are great for September. 

"The sure way to teach easily and successfully, is to awaken interest and kindle enthusiasm." -Tyron Edwards

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