Wednesday 29 July 2015

First Day of School

Well it's almost that time of year again. 

You might be planning out your first day of school. 

If you plan on implementing some get to know you activities then you have come to the right place. 

First day of school get to know you activities and 3 freebies

On the first day of school I have range of get to know you activities.  We sing, "What do you Think my Name is, I Wonder if you Know?"  Here is a link to the lyrics. For the life of me, I could not find a decent recording of this brilliant song on YouTube.  If you find one, please leave a comment below. 

Here are some other name songs via YouTube.  You could play these on the first day with your students.

3 get to know you name songs for back to school

Click here for even more back to school YouTube songs.

Name writing ideas and free name writing download

After I sing "What do you Think my Name is, I Wonder if you Know?" I read, "The Name Jar" by Yangsook Choi. 

After reading the book, we discuss how our name is one thing that makes us unique. 

Older students could go one step further to discuss things that make them unique. The Happy Feet - Glorias Heart Song (Day at School) video is the perfect introduction for this. 

When I taught Kindergarten, I would place everyone's name on the carpet while the children sit in a circle. They come to find their name (usually in pairs) and place it in the jar.  The jar represents our class and that we are individuals, part of a group. 

Grab these FREE name plates to laminate and write students' names. 

FREE Name desk plate

FREE Name desk plate

Later in the day, I would have my Kindergarten students trace their name on laminated cards.  Some children wanted to practice writing their name on paper.  I would have blank and lined paper ready for this. 

Grab this free download with lined paper for name writing.  The paper could be used with the desk plates above once you write names on laminated plates. 

FREE Name writing download Clever Classroom blog

FREE Name writing download Clever Classroom blog

FREE Name writing download Clever Classroom blog

FREE Name writing download Clever Classroom blog

FREE Name writing download Clever Classroom blog

FREE Name writing download Clever Classroom blog

We would also count the letters in our name, find the first letter of our name, around the room. 

Do you have any get to know you activities that have been successful in your classroom.  Please let us know what they are, and which grade you teach in the comments below. 

What do you do on the first day of school?

Our Facebook fans have SO MANY IDEAS for the first day of school. 

Anita (4th grade): ""On the first day of school, I read the book, "Everybody Needs a Rock." It describes how to find the perfect rock that fits your personality and for homework they have to find their rock. The second day, we sit in a circle and go around letting everyone explain how/why their rock represents them. After each person has spoken, we place their rock into our rock cauldron. This is for my 4th graders. I teach at a school with a very high transient population. So, this mini ceremony is a way of bonding the students together as a classroom community, however long it lasts. When students leave, we have an outgoing rock ceremony. When we get new students, we have another incoming ceremony. Over the year, students are allowed to change their rocks if they feel they have grown in some way. They really love it!"

Beth (1st grade): "1st grade: We read Chrysanthemum and do various name activities. We work on a Venn diagram that compares kindergarten and first grade. We work on a paper that shows how many letters, numbers, and words they can write."

Edit:  Beth also wanted to let you all know that; " I use Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie series a great deal those first weeks. With simple words and pictures, this hilarious author makes it easy to teach characters, setting, plot, character motivation and main idea. I have not had one 1st grade group that hasn't adored them. Once I introduce them, the librarian can't keep the books in the library."

Christina (grade unknown): "Every year we've done People Bingo! (Google people bingo template), made name bugs, and this past year we did a time capsule - the students drew a picture of how the looked on the first day, created a writing prompt; "On the first day of school..." with a picture, and also included a handwriting sheet - we stuffed an envelope with these three items and opened it up during the last week of school. The kids couldn't believe what they wrote and laughed at their handwriting and the idea of how much they've grown."

Denise (K-2):  "I have taught K for 8 years, 2nd for one year. Moving to 1st this year. In the past, I have always read "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" and we do a cute bucket filling activity. I love bucket filling for building classroom community. I also read Robert Munsch's book "We Share Everything", a silly book about two student's first day of school. Kids love it!

There are dozens of ideas from our Facebook fans.  Pop on over and read them, I promise that you will be inspired. Here's the link to see all of them

Beyond getting to know you activities, I also do the following on the first day of school. 

Classroom tour
School tour
Establish 5 key rules
Detail expectations and social skills (explicitly teach in coming days and weeks using my social skills expectations posters)
Ask students what they think they might learn.
Observe social skills, personalities and abilities and make notes

What do you do? 

Don't forget to grab this freebie to use with your first day of school photos. The posters are available for grades Pre-K to Six. The file is revised each year so you can drop back in and download the update. 

FREE First Day of School Picture Posters 2015-2016

Oh and I have loads of back to school ideas for you on this super busy Pinterest board.

Back to school

Thanks so much for dropping by. 

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on this blog post, it is very much appreciated. Be sure to follow us, to keep up to date with our new and exciting posts. Regards, Emma Farrell - Clever Classroom :)