Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back to School Activities {Freebie}

I've been a workin', workin' girl the past few days, trying to get all my back to school activities ready so I can focus on other parts of the planning for back to school.  I ADORE planning for the first few days of school.  I love picking out the perfect getting to know you activities, and I truly enjoy being able to spend time just getting to know my kiddos before the hectic demands of our curriculum calendars take over. :)  

I bundled all my favorite back to school activities together in one easy to find file over the past few days.  Which was quite the undertaking considering my back to school file folder is about five inches tall, no kidding. :)  I'm so glad to be able to purge some items now that they are cleaned up, and digital! These are all activities I used with my third graders previously, so this pack is perfect for early intermediate students (3rd to 5th graders). 





My latest pack has eight of my favorite back to school activities, all with detailed directions included so you can implement them in your classroom with ease! :)  
 Included are:
*5 Somebody Who Icebreaker Sheets
*Interview a Friend Writing Activity
*Skittles Sharing Activity
*Template for your students to make their own All About Me Ts.
*Pop Quiz Template- An editable file for you to create a "pop quiz" about yourself to give your students to introduce your testing procedures.  I do this after I introduce myself to my kiddos.  It also shows you quickly who is a good listener. :)
*Toothpaste Word Activity and Class Book Cover
*Class Book Template/Forms and Templates for a your students to create a Top Ten List of the most important things about them.
*Everything you need to create school year time capsules with your students!

This year our first week back is three days long, so I won't be able to get to all of these activities, even I wish I could because I LOVE every activity in this entire pack!

Even though time is short, you bet we will be making our time capsules, always a favorite, doing a Find Somebody Who each day, making All About Me tees, doing a little Pop Quiz about their teacher to introduce our testing procedures, and the all ways a hit Toothpaste Words Activity.  :)

Since I love y'all so much, I'm sharing my Toothpaste Words Activity with you today.  One of my all time favorite books to read with my class is Mr. Peabody's Apples.  



 

Which sadly looks to be out of print, but I've always had success ordering out of print books on Amazon and half.com.  Believe, this book is worth every penny, especially if you teach older kiddos.   Mr. Peabody's Apples tells a powerful story of a little boy who learns the power lesson of "not being so quick to judge and to remember the power of your words." 
After reading, I discuss the power of our words with my class and try, try, try to instill in them that once our words are spoken, they can never be forgotten, just forgiven.   To help this stick, I give each group of students a paper plate and a travel bottle of toothpaste.  I encourage the groups to work together to get all of the toothpaste out of the tube and onto the plate.  Once all the toothpaste is out, I give each student a toothpick and they have to work together to get all the toothpaste back into the tube.  Once it's obvious that this impossible, although I've had some groups come very close to putting all the toothpaste back, we have a discussion about the activity and relate how the toothpaste is like our words.  Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, all of it will never back in.  Much like our words, once we say something, it can't be taken back.  So if we say something hurtful, we can only hope to be forgiven.  
Once all the toothpaste is cleaned up, your classroom will smell minty fresh, I have my students fill out the following organizer. 
 Click on the picture or {here} to download your copy!  We fill the organizer with words that make us feel good and with words and phrase we should use when talking to others.  I usually try to collect all the organizers and make a book for my friends who have problems throughout the year saying kind things to others to read.  
I realize that many of you probably have a collection of back to school activities that you adore just as much as I love mine, so I created a separate pack with just the Time Capsule files in it. 

 Oh my word, I can't express to you how much I love doing time capsules with my kiddos.  My third graders always LOVED them, and I'm sure my fourth graders will too.  I had them complete the surveys as morning work one day during the first week of school, which works out quick nicely.  I also measure them with yarn during the first week and attach it to a labeled piece of paper.  On the last day of the week, I have the kiddos make a prediction about what they think the year will be like, and then they attach a picture I took of them during the first week of school to their prediction page. Everything then goes in a large shipping envelope that the students decorated, and into a large file box that I no longer use.  The last week of school, the kiddos fill out the same survey, are measured again with yarn, and write a reflection on the year with a current picture attached.  On the last day of school, I give them their time capsule from the beginning of the year, and oh what fun it is! It's amazing to see how much they have changed! Plus this makes for a great memento of the school year.  
If you're interested in either activity pack, the links are below. 




Must drag myself away from the computer to do laundry now! :)

7 comments:

  1. omg I love that toothpaste activity!! I think I'm going to try that this year. Your back to school packet looks great... I actually added it to my wishlist ;) Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Katie
    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

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  2. Love the toothpaste activity! I plan on doing it when we read start our bucket fillers! :)

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  3. I am nominating you for the Versatile Blogger award!

    -Dani
    A Place to Thrive

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  4. I'm definitely going to check out your back to school packet. I'm looking for a different introductory activity. In the past I've had student create Me-bags, complete s small tri-fold board about themselves, but am looking for something different this year?

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  5. I am a fairly new follower to your blog, and I'm also moving to fourth grade this year from third. I LOVE all your back-to-school ideas. Thanks so much for sharing them!!

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  6. I just stumbled upon your blog last week and I just love all your ideas! Thank you for sharing your Toothpaste printable. I really like the idea of collecting them to put in a book for reference later in the year. I'll be using it with my fifth graders this year. Thanks again! :)

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