Friday, August 29, 2014

Back To School Ideas

So... school is here!  Now, what to do with those 25 smiling faces staring back at you on day one?

I created a WELCOME banner to welcome the kids back to school or to use for back to school night.  It's super easy to put up.  I created a mini version for you to see it below.  Grab it at my store for free!  Woo Hoo! 

Here's the 'real' version:

The first week is more about establishing routines, getting the lay of the land and learning everyone's name and a little more about each student.
When I taught K, one of my favorite activities to teach children about kindness was the Wrinkled Heart Activity. It can be applied to all ages and it's a fabulous visual reminder! 

Read all about it and print off the poster for free HERE.

I usually have my kids work on an All About Me Book.  It helps me learn about their family, interests, friends and more.  Usually, when they are complete, I have the children pair-share  so they can get to know each other.  I glue the front page on a piece of folded construction paper and staple it to make it look like a 'real' book. The finished project is very sweet =) and I put it out for Parents' Night.

Recently, I updated this book to include some more pages and gave it a little facelift. Here's the new version:

A great book to read is
Wilfred Gordan McDonald Partridge. It's about a small boy with  a big name who befriends Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper since she has a big name too! Miss Nancy has lost her memory and Wilfred discovers what memories are so he can find it for her.  Click on the link to go to Storyline Online .
This site is amazing-you'll want to bookmark it for sure! It's great to have fabulous books read to the kids by famous people- LOVE IT! Bonus- IT"S FREE! Who doesn't like FREE?

We also do a fun scavenger hunt  and some other back to school activities.  I ask kids to bring in 2 items to share on the first day of school that represent something they did over the summer.

I created a Licensed to Learn bulletin board.  I keep the license plates up all year as a border around my bulletin board.  It's  represents the authors of the work  presented all year.

Here are some other great get to know you activities from other classes:

FREE Get-to-Know-You Jenga - Great for scout groups, summer camps and back to school!
With so many books in the classroom, it's hard for the kids to keep track of which ones they are reading.  I have the children make 2 bookmarks at the beginning of the year (one on white, one on a bright color). I use cardstock for durability and laminate them. I cut  them to 10 1/2 x 3 1/2 so 2 of them fit in a laminate sleeve quite easily. I stick on a label with their name on top in a large sized font. When they are reading a book and it's time to start something new, they put the bookmark in the book and it goes back into the class library. It allows other students know that someone is reading it at the moment.  It prevents a lot of shoving the books in the desk and getting ruined.  Another idea people use is putting the books in Ziplocs and keeping them  in their desks.  That's  how my kids keep their DEAR books.

Here are some great K-2 books from Read Write Think  for BACK TO SCHOOL.

Check out Always a Teacher Forever a Mom Linky for her Fabulous Freebie Friday!


For some fabulous back to school freebies and products, check out Primary Inspirations Back to School Linky Party:

Please  feel free to share any great ideas or links for back to school ideas, games, or get to know you activities.

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