On the first day of school I have each student complete a self portrait, write their name, write the date and record their height.Then on the last day of school, I have the students do the same activity. It is so fun for the students to see how they wrote their name, formed their numbers and letters, drew the picture and how much they have grown in just a few short months!
The balloon activity is a fun ice breaker that allows the students to laugh, move and feel more comfortable standing in front of their new friends. For this activity I print and cut the cards apart. Then I blow up enough balloons for each student to have one balloon. As I am blowing up the balloon I put one card inside each balloon. When it is the students turn they get to try and pop the balloon (which is very amusing) and then have to answer the question that is on the card inside.
As I am going over my routines and procedures at the beginning of the year, I like to be specific with my students on what is appropriate and inappropriate to bring to school. I start off with this little sorting activity that we complete as a class. Together we sort and discuss the different objects and why or why not they should come to school. Then on the reverse side of the paper I have copied an "Answer Key" for the parents giving them a little note for each item.
Teaching students to be responsible is very important to me. So at the beginning of the year we discuss what is expected to be returned daily in their backpack. We role play the students packing their backpack at home, and then illustrate what belongs in their backpack. It amazes me to see how the students feel so proud of themselves after this activity, or the next morning when they enter the classroom and tell me they packed their backpack "ALL BY MYSELF"! I include a short note at the bottom to the parents so that they can have conversations with their child about be prepared for school daily.
Lastly, I try to fit this activity in, if not the first day, somewhere in the first week. This is just a reflective tool for the students to see that they are becoming acclamated to school, making friends and beginning their kindergarten adventure! It is also something I send home as a conversation starter between the child and parents.
These are just a few of the things that I do in my classroom. I would love to hear what you do! Leave a comment or send me an email!
Smiles and happiness,