I recently purchased a set of 25 giant, blank puzzle pieces that all fit together from my local teacher supply store. I would like to give each child one to do something with as an arrival activity on the first day. Has anyone ever done something like this? Any good ideas? Thanks!
Our classrooms are called by our grade and first initial of our name so we are 1P. I draw a giant one and P in bubble letters with a black sharpie and let the kids color them in. We then put them together to show we are part of a whole. We all have to work together to make a difference in each others day and school year. You could draw something that represents you and your class and have them each color then put them together at the end.
HINT: label the backs to help you put it back together, I didnt do that the first year and it was a "true puzzle" to get back together.
I did this as a getting to know you activity last year. I asked students to draw three things about themselves on their puzzle piece. After they were done, they each told about their puzzle piece in front of the class and then put it up on a bulletin board I prepared. The bulletin board said, "Our Class Is A Perfect Fit!". Good luck - I'm sure the kids will love whatever activity you choose!
I never thought of using a blank puzzle from the store, but did it with poster board cut up, and yes, indeed, number the pieces on the back ahead of time! :-) I did run into a snag when 2 new students showed up without pre-registering and I had only made the right number of pieces, so I had to give one my piece and then added another one on the side at the last minute.
I did this last year, but just made the peices out if tag board. i will have to look at my local teacher supply store and see if I can find blank ones. That seems much easier. I had the kids write their names in the middle and draw something that told us a little about themselves (something they liked to do, favorite color, sport, etc.). When they were all done, they shared their pieces and we worked together in putting the puzzle back together. I also numbered the backs of the pieces and I made sure the kids had their pieces right side up, so their drawings weren't upside down or sideways when we put it together. I put it in the hallway wth a sign that said,
"All the pieces fit together in Mrs. Goossens' class!" I kept it up all year long. At the end of the year, we voted on who got to take it home.
Wow I love that! Thanks for posting the link! I did fabric squares to make a quilt 2 years ago, but this seems much easier - and pretty inexpensive from Oriental Trading! I also really like the "Jumbo Kid Puzzle" (near the fish one if you scroll down)...I'm thinking about doing that one instead and tying it into Debbie Miller's self-portraits? (I was looking for a better way to do those this year anyway..)
We did this last year and it turned out great. Each student decorated one with his or her photograph (I took pictures the first day and we did this on the 2nd or 3rd day) and words or drawings about themselves.
I put a little dot on the "top" of the piece, so that when the puzzle went together, their picture was right side up.
I gave each table four pieces that fit together. The table had to fit their pieces, then each table brought their section to the carpet and had to work with the other table teams to piece the sections together.
It was great team building.
Since the pieces were tag board, I glued them to a poster board and contact papered it. It was so cute I hung it all year as a reminder of our community!
I never thought about what to have the kids use to decorate the puzzle piece - crayons, markers, colored pencils. Oriental Trading's description didn't include whether it had a glossy finish or anything either.
I have done back to school posters for a few years and have always created my own because my class size is never less than 25 We use ours as a discussion on teamwork. My kiddos work in small groups to put together 60 piece puzzles and then I take their group picture with the completed puzzle. The next day they decorate their own puzzle piece and add their individual photo to it. We work together to build it and then I staple the class puzzle and their group photos to a bulletin board. Later we add our class pledge next to the puzzle and it becomes a visual reminder to my students that we work together and are kind to one another.
I have not done the GIANT puzzle pieces but I have always bought the individual puzzles (1 for each student). I write each students' name in bubble letters on it and then on the first day of school they each color their puzzle with markers. I keep them each in a ziploc bag with their name on it and students can put the puzzles together during free time. They LOVE it!
I usually spend about $2 on each of their classmates for holiday presents (the bag, the candy and everything ) so for 82 cents a bag for the snowman totes, it's a huge bargain. And I couldn't resist the halloween ones either for about $1.66 each.
Definitely check out Oriental Trading - great bargins if you look hard enough.