Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to school/first day of school activities

Well, it's coming soon kids! (I started P90X and I'm already emulating Tony Horton...Anyone else want to get in shape with me?  I need support!!!!)

Fun in First
There is an awesome linky party of back to school ideas going on over at

Here are a few of my plans for the first day of school:

Arrival: Playdough
Each kiddo will have a small jar of playdough and a sheet of wax paper for when they arrive.  They will be allowed to have free play time while everything settles down and then they will create one object that they will draw a picture of a write about.  We share these with the class.  Jodi at Clutter Free Classroom makes her own playdough and lets the students squish it around for a colorful surprise!  

How will I get home? Pictograph
The students also color a bus, car, daycare, or walker symbol.  These are reproductibles from some teacher magazine (The Teacher Mailbox, maybe?)  You can see the board set up and ready to go on the left side.  I just use Scott tape to place them on the board.  This also lets me know if they have any clue about how they are suppose to get home!  I have die cut laminated transportation necklaces made up that they wear for the first week that have a printed label that tells the child's name, method they are taking home, parent cell and teacher name. 

My table from the first day a few years ago.  

First Day Books:
I love to read "First Day Jitters".  The story appears to follow an apprehensive student who does NOT want to go to school the first day because they are scared.  It turns out to be the teacher!  It's a really cute book and it breaks the ice and shows that everyone gets a little nervous sometimes, and that's ok too!

There are lots of activities to go along with these books.  We make a mouse paper bag puppet, draw a self portrait and talk lots about rules and procedures.

Class?  Yeeeeeeees? Whole Brain Teaching
I spend a lot of time my first day teaching the students our class rules and commands.  If you haven't checked out my post on Whole Brain Teaching, you need to see it ASAP!  We also will be introducing Bucket Fillers this year as well as my classroom economy.  

These can be printed from Whole Brain Teaching for free!

Class portrait
Don't forget to take lots of pictures!  I always get an individual shot of each student working and then I use my Macbook to take a group shot of the class.  

Our mouse puppets

Establishing Rituals
Dr. Becky Baily is a phenomenal speaker, and I had the opportunity to implement some of her ideas.  Everyday we build our classroom community through welcome songs and goodbye songs.  At the end of the day, we get in a circle, link arms and sing "Goodbye My Friends" by Dr. Jean.

Us on the last day.... yes I cry.

Lyrics (I have this made into a poster with clipart animals)
See you later, alligator!
After while, crocodile!
In an hour, sunflower!
Maybe two, kangaroo!
Gotta go, buffalo!
Adios, hippos!
Chow, chow, brown cow!
See you soon, baboon!
Adieu, cockatoo!
Better swish, jellyfish.
Chop chop, lollipop.
Gotta run, skeleton!
Bye-bye, butterfly!
Better shake, rattle snake.
Our school day now ends.
So, good-bye, good friends!

Share your first day ideas at Fun in First


Miss Megan

LOVE the power teacher video, I am doing this with out a doubt!



I read about the playdough on Jodi's blog and I was thinking it sounded like a good idea... I'm glad to know it worked for you!! Maybe I will try it!!

Marvelous Multiagers!


I love the playdough for the first day. In the past I have had to give breakfast so the introductory fun was lost. This will definitely go this year as I have changed schools. Love the wbt - I showed yours and Farrah's youtube videos while I introduced my school to wbt. Hope to be a model classroom this year or next. Love it!


What fun ideas you have!! :)


Thanks for linking up. Love all your ideas and pictures!


Love the play-doh idea! I'm so gonna steal this :)

Mandy's Memories

Great ideas!


Stopping by through the link party! Great post!


I love that song for the end of the day.

Thanks for sharing! :)

Baggy Trousers at A Crucial Week In The Life of an NQT


Love the playdough! My goal is to establish ritual with opening and closing circles. Thanks for the great ideas!

Life's Good at the Beach!

Is there anyway to download the video? I would love to use that on the smartboard with my kinders but youtube is a blocked site in our district.



@Life's Good- Yes!!! To avoid school filters for a specific YouTube video, try & paste the URL to the video. :)


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K.E.'s EOS fight

Wow. I love the kids repeating the rules. Are they written down somewhere

The Tally Tales

I just pinned your "Goodbye, My Friends" song so I will have it to use this year. What a precious way to end the day! I needed something like this for our cleanup/departure time. Thanks so much!


Awesome ideas. I plan to use some of these. I just need to decide which ones.

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