1-2-3 Come Do Some "Getting To Know You" Activities With Me
Whether you do this activity at the beginning of the school year for a back to school icebreaker, or in fall, for October or November, this owl craftivity is a wonderful way to get to know your students, and for students to get to know their classmates better.
Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board. I’ve included a poster to use for the center of your display.
For those finishing touches, have students cut out their owl, fold the wings inward, add some highlights with crayons and perhaps a pair of wiggle eyes.
Where they place the eyes really changes the personality of this cute little critter.
Gluing on a school picture adds that sweet, “keepsake-touch”.
There are two writing prompt options: Students can make an owl for themselves: "Owl" About Me…” or have children pick a partner and make one for that student: "Owl" Be Your Friend.”
Another interesting way to get to know your new students is with this welcome glyph. No matter what grade I taught, my students LOVED making glyphs.
They are a simple and fun way to practice and assess listening and following directions.
As with the owl above, completed glyphs make a wonderful back to school bulletin board, as each one will be different!
I’ve provided two “Welcome to school” glyph posters to use for the center of your display.
Because this glyph involves letter recognition, I’ve included a preschool version, as well as one for students who can recognize letters.
You can also simply hold up an unfinished sample and point to the letter you want them to color.
Afterwards, older children can pick a partner, and try to guess which glyph is theirs, by asking them a few key questions, which will narrow down the field.
I’ve included a recording sheet questionnaire for this.
While your students are working on the investigative extension, snap their picture.
Make a small thumbnail, class composite and print it off, so that students can glue their little photo to the end of the exclamation point to make your “Welcome!” display extra special.
Glyphs also provide a collection of data, so they’re an interesting way to introduce or practice graphing.
Based on the information in the glyphs, I’ve included 4 graphing extensions you can complete as a whole group activity.
Since my kiddos are practicing writing their name, I read the graph and have them write their name in the blank of the appropriate section.
Today's featured FREEBIE (I Made Lots Of New Friends Today!) is a wonderful sanity-saver for the first day of school.
Use it as an autograph-coloring page for young children, or a writing prompt for older students, where they write about a few of their classmates that they've made friends with.
If you don't have time for everyone to sign everybody's paper, have children sign the master copy, and run off during recess or your lunch break. Pass out at the end of the day, to allow yourself a few moments of peace to get things done before dismissal, while students work independently.
Well that's it for today. I hope you found something useful.
It's my mom's last day of her visit with us; some of the grandchildren are coming over, so it's time to put my party hat on.
Wishing you a fun-filled day with lots of memorable moments.
"Grandchildren complete life's circle of love." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make A Name Map With Me!
A name map is an interesting icebreaker for the first week of school and a great way to get to know your new students.
Children think of a symbol that represents them and draw that in the middle. I chose an apple as it’s sort of universal for school or teaching.
Branching out from the center symbol is a variety of things about the person such as hobbies, their favorite season, birthday, what they want to be when they grow up etc.
By having students use their two favorite colors to write their first and last names in the center of their object, everyone gets to know another “tidbit” about that person.
The completed activities make a wonderful back to school bulletin board too!
I've also included an apple-themed name map pattern if you're studying apples, and want them all the same.
Make sure you do a personal one of yourself, so that you have a sample to help explain what you want your students to do, as well as a means for them to get to know their new teacher. Includes an explanatory note home to families.
Sharing name maps is a nice activity to do after reading the story Chrysanthemum, a wonderful back to school tale, whose main character is a little mouse named Chrysanthemum.
She loved her unusual name until she started school and everyone began making fun of her. It's one of my favorite back-to-school books and especially great if you need some stories to go with "bucket-filling."
Click on the link to view/download Name Maps. This packet is a special FREEBIE in my TpT shop.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. Time for a much-needed break from my long "to do list".
It seems that no matter how many things I cross off, I put that many more back on! Wishing you a stress-free day filled with lots of relaxing moments.
"Luxury is anything that feels special. I mean, it can be a moment, a walk on the beach, a kiss from your child, or it could be a special fragrance. I think luxury doesn't necessarily have to mean expensive." -Aerin Lauder
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 Tacos With Me!
I'm not sure about you, but my "teacher hat" never really comes off. I'm forever putzing with design ideas, crafts, research and reading. Whenever I'm out and about junking or stopping at a garage sale, my mantra has always been: "What educational thing can I do with this?"
I'm also an avid people watcher and while at the grocery story noticed a young person wearing a T-shirt that said: "Let's Taco 'Bout It." written on a colorful taco shell with a smilie face on it.
I LOVED the play on words. Right a way my brain was going 90-miles-an-hour of how I could incorporate that idea into some sort of "craftivity." Thus Taco Talk was born!
I hope you have as much fun making these with your kiddos as I did designing templates and making samples. Taco Talk is very versatile.
I made patterns for the end of the year, (there are several options here, including one where this year's kiddos, make a taco note for your in-coming students in the fall) as well as "tacos" for back-to-school. Since the bucket fillers that I recently posted, have been so popular, I also made a compliment taco too.
Here's how to make a compliment one:
These "tacos" work well for the beginning or the end of the year, and are especially appropriate if you do the "Fill a bucket" program, as they are a wonderful way to build a child's self-esteem and reinforce the concept of being kind.
Run off the “taco shell” on light brown construction paper. Students cut it out, fold it in half and write their name in the blank. For extra pizzazz add some dots with a brown crayon or marker.
To make the “lettuce” I put a few sheets of green construction paper (one at a time) into my shredder.
Have students rub some glue on the top and bottom of the inside of their “taco shell” and glue on some “lettuce”.
Cut strips of red, yellow, and orange construction paper. Have students make an ABCABC pattern by gluing the strips INSIDE their “taco shell.” Open up the shell, so that you can see the front and rip the ends of the strips at various lengths, so just a bit of the "taco stuffing" is peeking out around the edge.
Put students in groups of 8. Children exchange their taco with someone in their group, who writes a compliment inside their taco on one of the colored strips. They continue to pass the tacos around ’til everyone in the group has signed everybody’s taco. Seven strips will have been signed. The 8th strip is for the teacher to write something on.
Give students a few minutes to read their taco and then collect them. Scatter them on a bulletin board, with bright yellow background, and a colorful fiesta or chili pepper border, or place each one on a variety of hot-colored paper plates and then scatter those, or use them as a border with the caption: “Taco Talk” in the middle.
So that you can spell Taco Talk, I’ve included large 8x10 letters in the packet. Run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper, trim and then arrange them to spell Taco Talk!
For that finishing touch, hang a piñata from the ceiling, on the side of the board. There's also a "Taco Talk" poster if you'd rather use that instead, plus a poster that says "Ola!" so that you can welcome your students with a friendly hello in Spanish.
The end of the school year or summer writing prompt taco is a little different than the compliment taco. Give students a pile of "lettuce" and a strip of red, yellow and orange construction paper.
Students rub glue around the top edge of the inside of their taco, then rip and tear the colored strips into various lengths.
They fold their taco back up and flip it over, gluing the paper pieces in an ABCABC pattern around the TOP of the shell, so that a bit of “taco stuffing” is peeking out.
Use the circle pattern to make a template for the inside "taco". Trace once and then cut 3-6 circles at a time. Students glue the blank circle inside their taco shell, so that it covers the ragged edges of the “lettuce”. This is where they write about their excellent year in school, or about their fabulous summer.
After students have shared their taco with the class, make the bulletin board. That's it. Easy breezy, and a fun way to start or finish the year.
Don't feel crafty? I've also included 3 "color me" writing prompt worksheets. No prep, just print & go.
There's a generic "Taco 'bout".... prompt where you are the students decide what you want them to "talk about" as well as a "Here's a red-hot list of things I'd love to do, if price were no object and I could do anything!" so that you could also do this simple activity for Daily 5 or during your writing block.
For another easy-peasy writing prompt option, I've included 4 black and white bookmarks for students to color, then complete the prompt on the back.
There are also 2 full-color ones for teachers to give their kiddos for back-to-school and at the end of the year. That's it. A nice variety-filled packet with lots of options.
You can find the 30-page "Taco'bout" writing prompt packet in my TpT shop for just $2.00. Click on the link to pop on over.
There are 3 FREEBIES from the packet: a writing prompt worksheet, bookmark and the "Ola!" poster to use as the center of your bulletin board display. Click on the link to grab these 3 "Taco 'bout" FREEBIES today.
Thanks for stopping by. Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, I hope it's absolutely "el terrifico!"
"What we learn becomes a part of who we are." -Unknown
Student-generated bulletin boards are a wonderful thing for the first week of school. "Rave on" is also a terrific icebreaker, and interesting way to get to know your students.
1-2-3 Come Make A Back-To-School Kitty Craft With Me
A kajillion years ago, just before I was student teaching, I had a professor ask us to bring 3 things in a lunch bag that represented us. We’d be sharing it as an icebreaker during our next class.
I really liked this idea and filed it away in my brain, thinking it would be fun to do with my “someday” students. Many “some days” have come and gone and I’ve since seen variations of the “me bags” all over the Internet and on Pinterest.
When I was an aide, only ½ a jillion years ago, I did a writing prompt with my 2nd graders entitled: “The Cat’s Out Of The Bag.” I had an “all about me” checklist, written on a cat’s belly, that they filled out and then read to their classmates.
Later, they colored, cut and glued the cat, to the outside of a brown lunch bag, and after sharing them with their classmates, they hung their cat on the front of their lockers, so passers by could also get to know them.
My kiddos really enjoyed doing them, and we got lots of compliments from hallway visitors. I thought this would be a nice creative twist to my icebreaker bag of long ago.
Here’s what you do:
Make up your own personal “Cat bag” and share it with your students so they get to know a little bit about you too. I included a family photo, (my students always thought it was cool that I have an identical twin), a small stuffed poodle to represent our pet Chloe, a tiny book because I love to read, a pen because I love to write, and paintbrush because I enjoy art.
No matter what grade I taught, I always made samples. My students really enjoyed getting to know me this way, as well as being able to “see” something and refer to it, as they worked on their own project.
Examples also made things easy to explain and acted as an attention grabber as well. Run off the note to the parents, along with the cute cat and “The cat’s out of the bag” sign. There are two on a page to save paper.
Attach them to a brown lunch bag and send them home with students on the first day of school, or during your Open House.
Not only is this an easy and fun way to get to know your students, it will afford an opportunity to give them some practice sharing in front of their new friends.
This is a wonderful alternative to Show and Tell. Plan to have 2-3 children (or as many as time will allow) share their bag each day during snack time, or at the end of the day before dismissal.
Click on the link to view/download The Cat’s Out Of The Bag packet. Thanks for visiting today. Do you have a getting-to-know-you project or icebreaker you’d be willing to share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or post a comment here.
Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin it" button is at the top on the menu bar. To check out more back-to-school ideas, click on the link, and stay tuned for more articles with lots of FREEBIES through out the summer.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you can help them become what they are capable of becoming.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I’m A Te-rrific 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! Use as an icebreaker for the first week.
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. Oh my!
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 wacky 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
Feel free to PIN away on my site. I think sharing is so important.
Do you have something that you do as an icebreaker that you could share with us? I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org You can also leave a comment here. If everyone adds to each other's bag of tricks how easy our lives become! Thanks in advance.