1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Activities With Me
As children head back to school, it's helpful if you can do some early assessing with your kinders and firsties to see where everyone's at, yet that can be time consuming and really not all that fun for your kiddos the first week of school, when they're already antsy sitting through rules, regulations and procedure talks.
It's a wonderful back to school packet that you can use for a variety of activities.
Fill in your students' names on the "Look who's been spotted" worksheet. I've included templates for preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade, plus a blank one to write in whatever you're teaching.
Students find their name and color the circle their favorite color. Be sure and include your name on the heart.
Having simple worksheets like this gives your students something to do, and allows you a few minutes to work one-on-one with them.
To quickly and easily whole group assess where your students are at, play the "I spy" games for numbers, shapes, plus upper and lowercase letters. They'll have fun and you can see at a glance who's having difficulty.
The packet also includes 2 writing prompt activities. I've designed these as extra large bookmarks, with 2 on a page. Students can choose one, color it and complete the prompt.
It's a quick home-school connection that lets parents know what their child did that day.
I've included completed samples for you to share as well.
Another writing activity is D is for dog. Students can roam the room and spot items and words that start with the letter Dd.
If you do Daily 5 this is a nice option.
The packet also includes a Whose Name Is On The Bone? activity. Because my Y5's were learning how to recognize their name, I filled a dog dish (I bought mine at The Dollar Store) with paper bones that I had written their names on.
For a few minutes each day, I'd hold up a bone and the child who recognized their name would bark. I know it sounds silly, but they absolutely LOVED this. As time permitted, we'd do 3-6. To help get the "wiggles" out, after they had sat through whatever else I had planned for carpet time, I'd play the song Who Left The Dogs Out?
They'd pretend to be puppies and crawl around on all fours singing and barking 'til the song ended. I'd reign them in and we'd transition to our next activity. (Too cute and rather hilarious!)
Click on the link for a nice YouTube video featuring the song and cute dog animation. Who Let The Dogs Out? For a shorter version, sung by kids and showing some nice dance moves for them to imitate, click on this link: Who Let The Dogs Out?
As another simple fill-in, I've also included 4 dog-themed bookmarks in color as well as black and white, plus one you can give for good behavior.
Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Puppy Packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
Work's done for today, so I'm off to play. As always, summer is flying way too fast!!!
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams
1-2-3 Come Do Some Icebreaker First-Day Activities With Me
My favorite classes in school, even up through college, were those that we had a real community going. These were usually conducted by my favorite teachers, who felt that a classroom was sort of like a family. They made time to make us all feel welcome, safe, and important. I truly felt cared about.
One of the ways they promoted these feelings, was that they spent some time getting to know all of us. This also helped build camaraderie, and developed our classroom “family” plus a positive-caring atmosphere.
Icebreakers are a perfect way to do this, and are especially important on the first day of school, when students are a bit nervous and looking at a bunch of strangers. They are quick, easy and a lot of fun. I've always found that no matter what the age, most students really enjoy sharing something about themselves.
I not only did an icebreaker on the first day, but included a simple one in the morning or at the end of the day, for our entire first week of school. I even do icebreakers with my college comp classes. I truly believe that if students get to really know each other, the class is much more interesting and fun, which I feel is conducive to learning, as well as a great motivational factor.
It's always worked for me. Thus, I’m forever searching for something new to add to my icebreaker bag of tricks and came upon the M & M's or Skittles Game, which goes by as many names as there are colors, and can be played in a variety of ways as well, so I made up a few of my own versions.
You can have students choose 2 or 3 pieces of candy and then announce that they will be sharing something about themselves. Whatever color of candy that they chose will match a question on the poster. Go around the room and have students share that information one question at a time. As they share, they get to eat that color candy.
Remember to let students know in advance not to eat their candy before it’s their turn to share. Since this may be extremely difficult for a young child, to expedite things, you can put one of each color candy in a mini cup on their desks.
Tell students that they’re going to share the red candy question and then have everyone eat the red one at the same time. As soon as the first person shares then the next one goes, til everyone has answered that color question.
Remind students that you have limited time and to keep their answers short. Most of the questions that I’ve thought of can be answered with one or two words. Teachers need to keep things moving.
If you have a large class, and don’t have enough time to share all of the questions, you can tell your students to pick out their favorite flavor or color and then answer that question.
I’ve included 4, different question template options, for you to choose from, (using both an M & M's and Skittles template) as well as a blank color copy of the poster, to make up your own questions.
Remember to keep questions simple, easy to answer, not embarrassing or intrusive, and something that would be easy and fun for children to share about themselves.
As a writing option, I’ve included a blank black and white M & M's and Skittles copy. You can run these off and have students color their candies, and then fill in the answers to the questions that you read.
For sharing time, they can look at their papers and choose one or two that they want to read and share with their classmates.
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to PIN away. It poured today, so I'm off to empty my flower pots, and rescue some drowning plants.
Wishing you a blessed day from over here in Michigan.
"Nature does not hurry; yet everything gets accomplished." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make Some Back To School Things With Me
While I was working on the coloring-autograph page: "I made a lot of friends today!" for a first day of school activity; I thought making some number puzzles that students could color, cut and glue, would also give teachers a little bit of "sanity" time, to get some of the zillions of trivial tasks done, that must be accomplished before dismissal, on that hectic first day.
The "friends" coloring worksheet was a very popular download. It's so simple, but such a great way to give your kiddos something they can do independently, which frees you up. When you're working with energized little ones, some of whom don't even know how to write their name, the word "independently" is imperative.
The number puzzles also double as a quick, easy and inexpensive little gift that you can have lying on your students' desks. Be sure and write their name on the puzzle (after the word Hi or Welcome! to make things extra special for them.
The puzzles can be pre-cut to expedite things for preschoolers. To give yourself even more time, have students cut their own puzzle pieces (after they have colored the picture) then tell them to mix up the pieces and put their puzzle together.
To make a cool looking mosaic, have children glue the pieces to a sheet of construction paper, leaving a little space in-between the pieces.
After they share their creation with the class, mount them on a bulletin board. Caption: Mrs. Henderson's kinders stick together, or fit in just fine, or whatever else you deem appropriate.
If you take a first day of school photo for a future memory book, make an extra copy and cut it into the shape of a puzzle piece, then put it along side that child's completed puzzle. Adding a puzzle border, or scattering some real puzzle pieces through out your bulletin board, adds the finishing touches. The Dollar Store sells a huge variety of puzzles that you can use to jazz things up.
The Back To School Puzzle packet, includes 30 puzzles. Some of them are vertical, others are horizontal. They come in black and white, so that students can color them, and others are in full color, so you can print; laminate and trim, then use in an independent center for early finishers.
Make a game of it by having children choose a partner to see who can complete their puzzle first. Some of the puzzles use numbers from 1-10 for little ones, others skip count by 10's to 100, for first graders.
I've also included little "Welcome" tags. (There are 16 on a page.) Write in your students' names and then paperclip one to their set of number strips and lay them on your kiddos' desks as a sweet surprise.
So that I had quiet time to check bus numbers and "going home" tags that needed to be changed, I always had some sort of independent activity towards the end of the day. My Y5's were exhausted, the room was usually hot and stuffy, so they were happy to simply veg-out a bit. This puzzle packet is perfect for that.
If you decide not to precut the strips, you may want to lay out a selection of black and white puzzles, and allow your students a choice of which one they want to color, cut and glue. Put a variety of colors of construction paper out as well. If you're all set for your first day, the puzzles also make a great Open House activity.
Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away. Do you have a first day or back to school activity you could share with us? I'd enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Time to go water my flower garden. I hope you're enjoying summer and making time to rejuvenate. Blessings to you from my little corner of cyber space.
"Your life is your garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. If your life isn't awesome, you've been watering the weeds." -Unknown