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First Day Ideas
Old 07-04-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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HI! I am so excited to be here and also so excited to be moving up to 5th grade next year. Just finished 3rd grade for the past 8 years and it is neat to plan new things. But it is also hard - after knowing what worked beautifully in my classroom - to not know what will work in 5th. SO! Any ideas on fun ways to begin the school year (first day ideas/ projects/activities). I most likely will have lots of kids that I had 2 years ago in 3rd and I also try to personally visit every home before school starts so I am not looking for "ice-breakers." Just need some cool 1st day ideas! It's always nice to get something up b efore Back to School Night too!


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2 things
Old 07-04-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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A couple of things I do...neither are original to me, I think I found the ideas here.

1) I read The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. We discuss it, noticing how the author crafted the piece, looking at descriptive terms, structure, etc. Then I have them use the pattern/structure of the book to create a poem called The Important Thing About the First Day of School. I let the students make their final copy on plain paper and illustrate it. Then I back it with black construction paper and display in the hall.

2) The second thing is for homework, they are to come up with a 3 paragraph rough draft explanation of why they don't have their homework, the crazier, wilder, most ridiculous excuse the better.
The next day we use this rough draft to begin our writing workshop routines. Final copy is also illustrated and displayed.

Last edited by parker; 07-04-2012 at 05:11 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:06 PM
 
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Thank you for posting this! I am also moving up from 3rd to 5th and am needing ideas to do for the first day! love the homework!
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Top ten
Old 07-04-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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I read the chapter book, The Top Ten ways to Ruin the First day of Fifth Grade. (It is a total beach read, but the kids love it.) I have the the kids write the Top Ten things I need to know about them.

I also have the kids bring into school on the first few days a book they feel will always be special to them. I call it their Forever Book. Each child over the first few days shares their forever book with the class. Why is it so special, who read it to you, bought it for you, etc. They do their first reader response based on their forever book.
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yes!
Old 07-04-2012, 10:00 PM
 
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That book is one I have never heard of and I plan to purchase it. Love those ideas!


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Something To Display For Back To School Night
Old 07-05-2012, 02:07 AM
 
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Have students write a bio poem. It is short and sweet, so you can get them up in time for parents to see on BTS night.

At the top of each poem add the child's silhouette.

The easiest way to create the silhouettes is with an old overhead projector. Tape black paper to a wall. Have students stand facing sideways in front of the paper. I think it looks nice to have them all face the same direction or have all the girls face one way and boys another. Shine the light on the student to create a shadow. Then trace their profile with chalk to show easily on the black paper. Then cut out carefully. Add name to back in chalk. I find it works better without eye glasses.

It makes a great keepsake and the students can learn about one another by reading everyone's bio poem. You could even create a treasure hunt of sorts by asking a question about each child that can only be answered by reading their poem.
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File Type: pdf biopoem.pdf (89.1 KB, 295 views)
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We all fit together
Old 07-05-2012, 03:44 AM
 
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I have my kids create a class puzzle. Each student gets a unique puzzle piece (about the size of a sheet of paper) and they decorate it with things that represent them and their strengths. After sharing, we put the puzzle together on our bulletin board to show how we all fit together and that we each bring something unique to the table.

I am also creating a Family Tree. It's a tree template with no leaves. Each student will stamp their thumbprint onto the tree as leaves. (again, we are all unique) and then write their name on their thumbprint once it dries. It will be framed and stay on our wall all year long.

I have more team building ideas for the rest of the week at home. I'll post more when I get there.
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Purchasing
Old 07-05-2012, 04:24 AM
 
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Purchasing the book The Top Ten...was not easy. For some reason on ebay and Amazon it was very expensive. I ended up going through Scholastic Book Wizard to purchase it. The scholastic site didn't have it, it had to be through Book Wizard. Good Luck!
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Some things I do...
Old 07-05-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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*Top Ten--Most years I also use The Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of Fifth Grade which is also called The Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of School--This book is found at our local libraries, so if you can't find it to purchase, try there. They write the top ten things they want me to know about them, read all or some of them aloud to the class, then I display them on a board entitled, "The Top Ten Things My Teacher Needs to Know about Me."

*paper dolls--I also give the kids a small paper doll to take home on day one to decorate to look like themselves and represent something about their interests. They use foil, yarn, markers, magazines, material, etc. to decorate the dolls to look like them. They dress the doll with what looks like something they'd wear. This may be a cheerleading outfit or a sports team t-shirt. Some have the dolls holding something like a football.

The next day, they write a short paper about themselves called "About Me." They include a paragraph about their physical description and another about their characteristics. This is not graded but scored with a rubric to be included as their first writing assessment that goes in their district writing portfolio.

*word search--I have a large back-to-school word search on their desks when they come in that first morning. While I'm taking care of individual needs or collecting their paperwork or something, the kids work on this at their seats. It's long enough to finish the next day, too.

*t-shirts--Sometimes I use t-shirt templates that the students decorate with pictures and/or designs to represent what they want me to learn about them. They make them colorful which makes it look nice when we hang them in the hallway with string and mini clothespins to look like laundry hanging out to dry.

*3 Facts and a Fib--Some years I have them make mini-booklets where they have to write a fact about themselves on the front of three of the pages and a fib on one of the pages in any mixed up order. On the back of the page, they write if the statement they wrote is a fact or a fib. If it's a fact, they have to write another detail to go along with it. If it's a fib, they have to write the correct information. They have to colorfully illustrate each page, too.

I have them stand and read the booklet aloud. The rest of the class tries to figure out which is the fib. They have fun with this.
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First day of fifth grade
Old 07-05-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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Welcome to fifth grade!! You will love it. I like to do several beginning of the year activities. I use the three truths and a fib activity that was already mentioned. I also have the students state something that they really enjoy that begins with the first letter of their first name and then state something they really dislike that starts with the first letter of their last name. (i.e. Emily Smith; really enjoys eagles - really dislikes sardines; the responses can be longer than one word). Then, if there is time, I challenge the class to see if they can remember their peers' likes and dislikes. This is a nice way to get to know your students, and they love talking about themselves!
Finally an activity that takes a couple of day is having them complete an "I Am" poster (available at most teacher supply stores and scholastic.com sells a variety of these). The students complete the poster using both statements and illustrations questions like "my favorite movie" "my favorite color" "If my life was made into a movie _______would play me" etc... Then, after the poster is complete, I have them write an "I Am" poem. After I give them the rubric, I share one that I wrote about myself explaining the process and telling the students a bit about myself in the meantime. These turn out really nicely, especially after you have a chance to edit them. When the poster and poems are complete, I attach the poem below the poster and display them for our "Meet the Teacher" night. The poster and poems become treasure for parents. The link to the "I Am" poem is below. Have fun!
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/.../I-am-poem.pdf



Last edited by Hoartyo; 07-05-2012 at 03:33 PM.. Reason: spelling/usage errors
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:00 AM
 
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I'm going to do the Important Book this year, too! I just bought it. That will be a fun writing assignment. Another idea I love is something I got here on PT. I went to the local glass store and searched their remnants bin for pieces of acrylic that I could score and break to be about 5x7. Then the kids draw a self portrait in sharpee on one side, and use acrylic paint on the other side to color it in. They turn out really fancy looking because the side you display is glossy with the clean black lines.

Another idea I love for this year is from Pinterest.

Finally, here's another one I really want to try. Stephanie's class is so awesome, I want to be in it! She has some really amazing ideas I hope to steal this year. Isn't blogland incredible!
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the hands picture
Old 07-06-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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hello, I love the hands picture. What do you think she did? Would the kids trace their hands and then paint them and cut them out. I think it looks so nice and would be great to keep all year round.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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I found a large canvas at a yard sale this summer that I plan on painting a shade of blue to match my room. Then I'll have the kids trace their hands on coordinating scrapbook paper. I'm thinking of modpodging it all together. Hopefully I can fit 32 hands on the board I bought! Yes, I love things that can stay up all year and look nice. Probably about 40% of my wall space doesn't change once I get it up there. 40% is anchor charts, etc., and 20% is my writing wall with student work that changes weekly.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:50 PM
 
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I found "The Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of School" at Scholastic Book Wizard for $4.99 (paperback)
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"Facebook" page
Old 07-08-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Somewhere else on here I found a "facebook" page the students fill out. Think I'll use that (with a bit of tweaking). I love all the ideas presented!
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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THat is on teachers pay teachers.
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