First Week of School {Activities & More!}

Sunday, September 20, 2015
Besides meeting my new students (YAY!) my first week of school was very intense. I wanted to roll out some goal setting activities, geography skills, and math baseline data activities within the first week. It actually rolled over into the next week, but that's ok!

10 Things You Need to Know
One of the very first activities we did was creating our lists of things every else needs to know about us! I created one to model the expectations and my kiddos got very creative with it. I loved learning about things they did over the summer or even just fun facts besides their reading level or grades from last year. I want to get to know them on a personal level to begin to build solid relationships.

Book Jackets
Over the summer, my students had to choose from a list of summer reading novels. I broke them up into summer reading groups and had them discuss the novel with one another. I had five groups going at once and the kids were very into the summer reads. After their discussions, they created a book jacket for their summer novel. The cover is either the original book cover, or another scene from the book. I have some very talented artists! On the inside, they listed the story elements of the book. They turned out so cute! 

Me on the Map
I love doing this activity! After reading the book, Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney, we went onto Google Maps and zoomed into our school. I continued to zoom out until the world was visible, both a 2D and 3D illustration. My students loved it! One student even asked me to find Kansas, which was a first. This activity is so much fun, and really give my students perspective as to their location on the maps in my classroom. It is a great intro for a geography unit as well. I used Clutter-Free Classroom's unit for the book and it was FILLED with great ideas, resources, and print and go activities. I still need to put the title on this bulletin board, but didn't they turn out fantastic! 

My classroom looks so much better with student work! I cannot wait to fill up the white spaces in my room with more work and hang their My Life posters from the line in my classroom. Stay tuned for those finished projects! 

Goal Setting
I wanted my students to get familiar with the character standards at our school and get some realistic goals for themselves to work on this year. Along with academic goals, my students also set SEL goals for themselves. I created this goal setting interview sheet based on an article by Maurice Elias entitled Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students. I modified the questions SLIGHTLY to be appropriate for my students. I paired the students, and had them ask each other these questions and write down their responses. They had some very mature responses!

Want to try this activity with your kids? Download this handout below.

Thanks for stopping by!


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