Saturday, August 13, 2016

First Day Activities

Let me start off with pointing out how FAST summer went by! It doesn't matter if we get out in May or June, the summer seems to always seems to go by too fast!
My first day of school was on Wednesday and I wanted to share with you some of the activities that we kicked off our school year with. 
The first activity that we did this year was the toilet paper activity. You should see the students faces when their new teacher is asking them to take toilet paper for no reason! After everyone gets settled in, I have them write one thing about themselves for every square of toilet paper that they need. In the past I've found that its difficult for them to actually write on the toilet paper, so this year I made a sheet for them to write on. 

Kids love the chance to share about their summer, or something about themselves and its an easy ice breaker as well as sets limits for students to share. 
Next up was getting our class mission statement and rules started. This is one of the first things that I do each year because it can really set the tone for the entire school year. I started off by reading a really cute book to my students. "Mrs McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom!" by Kelly DiPucchio is a funny book about a teacher who is retiring and can't figure out how to clean our her messy classroom. Click here to purchase the book! 
After I read the book aloud, student then had the chance to write about their idea of the perfect classroom. Once everyone had thought about how their perfect classroom would sound, feel and look students got into groups and shared their ideas. Each student had 1 minute to share about their perfect classroom. 
This activity lead into the groups making our class mission statement, each group made their own mission statement and then we complied the best of each one into our final product. Even though this activity is very time consuming it is worth it in the end. 

My FAVORITE activity to do on the first day of school is making goals. On the first day everyone is excited and eager to learn so it seems to be the best time to talk about goal setting. This year I found an awesome book "Salt in His Shoes" By Deloris Jordan and Roslyn Jordan. This is a story about Michael Jordan and how he worked hard to meet his goals. Click Here if you are interested in purchasing this book. I really liked this book because it appealed to my boys and they could relate to Michael Jordan and his goals. 
After discussing goals and what a good goal looks like, students were set free to plan out their goals. I directed students to include at least 2 academic goals and 1 personal goal for the school year. Once everyone had their amazing goals, we created our art project to display our work out in the hallway. 

Aren't these just the cutest things you've ever seen?!

I love having something from the first day of school to display out in the hallway that is so meaningful. 

Finally to end the first day of school was homework! I have done this activity every year and I've never had a student forget to do this homework. 

The Brown Bag Activity is always a hit in my classroom, even if it is homework. The kids really love getting to share about themselves and bring in some of their favorite things. I love that is works on students speaking and listening skills early on in the school year! 

If you would like any of these activities, with lesson plans, for the first few days of school for your big kids, just click here! 

I hope that you have an awesome first day of school and a great school year to follow!