What day is it Today????

Saturday, September 06, 2008

ideas for the first days

Silly Name Game
On the first day, I gather the children in a circle. We go around the circle and have each child pick a word to go with his or her name (either rhyming or beginning with the same letter as the name). Each child must say his or her name and repeat the names that came before ("I am Marshmallow Megan and that was Willowy Wendy and Soccer Sally and Jumping Jimmy..."). It's a fun way to get to know one another and learn everybody's names.

Class-Created Puzzles
Using a large piece of tagboard, I draw as many puzzle pieces as I have students, plus one for myself. I number them on the back and cut them out. I have students decorate their pieces with their names, pictures, and words. We share these as a group and then reassemble the puzzle on a bulletin board to symbolize the importance of each individual's contribution to the class as a whole.

Time capsule activity

1) Give each student an empty Pringles can to decorate as a "Time

2) Each child will fill out a short interest inventory:
a handwriting sample, a tracing of their hand,
a self-portrait, and a few other things.
(You can get creative here -- make the task fit your
grade level)

3) They will place their sheets into their time capsule and have a
little ceremony to put them away until the end of the year.

(I'm planning to cheat and open the time capsules that night
in order to learn a little more about each student's interests
and abilities)

4) At the end of the year have the kids complete the same sheets
and then open their time capsule to compare how they have changed
during the school year.

"All About Me" activity
1) Hand out an 8.5" X 14" piece of paper (let the kids choose a colour)
2) Ask them to write their name in large colourful letters (fancy, bubble, etc.) in the middle of the page. TEACHER'S NOTE: I do a sample on the board while they are working on paper.
3) In the top left corner, have students finish the sentence "My family......".
4) In the top right corner, have students finish the sentence "My favourite thing to do is....". 5) In the bottom left corner, have students finish the sentence "I really don't like....".
6) In the bottom right corner, have students finish the sentence "Other people find me....". 7) In the top middle, have students finish the sentence "One day I'd love to.....".
8) In the bottom middle, have students finish the sentenceand "I'd love to meet....". TEACHER'S NOTE: We do these one by one, and it takes quite a while for everyone to finish. When finished: a) explain that they are going to stand up, hold their paper in from of them facing out b) quietly walk around and read other people's papers.

TEACHER'S NOTE: No talking is involved. This takes about 5 minutes, then I have the kids sit down. One by one I go around the room and introduce each child to the class and ask "Who can tell me something interesting about this person?". Hands fly up as kids are eager to prove that they read what was on the student's paper. I collect these papers after the exercise and post them in the room - kids enjoy reading them in the weeks to come and parents enjoy them on the Meet the Teacher night.

HANDS in class decorations

Just wanted to share this...it's easy and quick...of course, you can make it as detailed as you want, too. It's definitely NOT my idea---I think it was in a Bulletin Board book years ago...For a Welcome Board (or anyplace in your classroom for that matter)"Meet our HANDSome Class" Most Ellison Press collections have a handprint... OR have the kiddos trace their own hand on different colored construction paper and write their name on the hand. You could put their picture on the hand, too

First Day Bulletin Board

It works really well for your opening bulletin board to have your kids names on it....like a tree with apples or fall leaves with their names. You could add photos you take on the first day. I have a rocket ship with a few astronauts (for me an my assistant) and shooting stars for their names. I found it at the Teachers store on sale. I also like using the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree, with the letters of their first name and their photo. We do CCBB the first week. I've also used leaping frogs ("Welcome to our Pad") and scoops of ice cream ("A New Scoop of Grade Ones") on brown paper cones.
Would a rainbow work? Crayons? Balloons? ("Up Up and Away") Colored handprints? Drawings of yellow pencils ("One Sharp Bunch") with their names on? School busses, bugs, dinosaurs (A Roaring...

Open House - "Treasure Hunt"
Give the kids a list of things to show their parents in the room (class pet, their desk, etc...). The last thing on there is for them to find the treasure chest and it has a goody bag for each child (a few small things in it - piece of candy, pencil, eraser, homework pass, etc...).