Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Here They Come!

It's almost that time again! Didn't the summer just start???? 
Get some inspiration and great ideas for those first days of school right here! 

Getting the room ready is always, always a biggy on my list. I want my students to feel at home the first time they come through the door! Once they are in the classroom, those first lessons are crucial for setting the tone! I hope the ideas, sites, and the freebie make this your best year yet!

First is the classroom! 

Until the classroom is ready,  I'm a little crazy.  Here is a Pinterest board with every idea you will need for decorating your door, bulletin boards or classroom organization throughout the year! Get ideas, ideas and more ideas!

Next comes those first day plans!

Do you need first day activities your students will love? Try some of these:

1. True or false? Give your students ten true or false statements about your curriculum this year. Ask them to write their guesses on a piece of scrap paper. Choose your very best curriculum ideas for the true answers (special days, special lessons etc) , and some really grueling terrible things for false, (for example "you will need to stay after school at least one hour each week to do extra work throughout the year). It's a fun way to give kids an idea about great things to come this year, and give them a laugh at the false statments. 

2.  Ask students to make a self portrait with a sentence or two describing themselves. Make sure you make one of yourself too. These are great to mount on construction paper and put into the hall for open house.

3. Sticker Pals:  Have enough pairs of stickers to cover your class. As students come into the room on the first day put a sticker on his or her hand. Make sure another student has a matching sticker. Soon after entering the room (before the stickers fall off!) ask each student to find their sticker pal. They then interview each other for about five or ten minutes to find out their partner's name, hobbies, etc. When all interviews are finished get in a circle and have partners introduce each other. 

4. Write a "Dear Me" letter. This is a letter students write to themselves on the first day of school. They can discuss their feelings about starting the new year, what they expect to learn, what they think will be hard/easy, or anything else they would like to include. Give each student an envelope for their letter, and ask them to write their name on the envelope and seal it. Collect the envelopes and put them in a special file. On the last day of school pass the letters back to your students to read and discuss. They make a great discussion for that last day, when books are put away and there is little to do. This makes that last day meaningful and memorable. Just a note: When you get new students throughout the year, have them do the same "Dear Me" letter as they enter your classroom. That way they won't be left out. 

5. End the day with a great book! I always read "All About Sam" by Lois Lowry. It's about Sam from the moment he is born and what he thinks. It is hilarious, and with a little "hamming it up" when you read it, they will absolutely leave school the first day with a smile! I read it every day before they go home. It takes about a week or so to finish. When they find out there are a lot more "Sam" books they are off to the library to find them!

6. Toothpaste Challenge. This one is to teach respect and let students know that respecting each other is a requirement in your classroom. Divide students into groups of three or four. Give each group a small travel size tube of toothpaste and a paper plate. Ask each group to squeeze out every bit of toothpaste they can. Next ask them to use only a toothpick and get all of the toothpaste back into the tube. Of course they can't. Explain that the toothpaste is like the words we say. Once they come out of our mouth, they can't be put back in again. 

7.  Ice breakers! For lots of icebreakers and other first day activities download my FREEBIE  below. Just click the "click here" link at the bottom of the pictures. 

I hope you've found some ideas that can make this year start out better than any other so far! 

For other ideas in guided reading, science, social studies and more be sure to follow me on Pinterest:

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! Thanks for the freebie-it is packed with great ideas and activities!