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First Few Days of School
Old 05-28-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Yes, I know. I must be crazy to be already thinking about the beginning of next year already when this last year JUST ended!! I can't help it though. When teaching is your passion, you can't turn it on and off.

Anyways - this will be my 1st year in 4th grade as well as my 3rd year with my students. (I've looped with them since 2nd grade) I am in need of books, ideas, activities to do those first few days of school. I can't pull the resources I've used in the past because my students have done them!!! If you have any ideas, I'd be greatly appreciative.

TIA!!


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When I taught fourth
Old 05-28-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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We had the students write a bio poem the first week. It gave us a chance to get to know each child a little better and it gave us a peek at their writing skills. It is also a cute assignment to display for parents on Back To School Night.

We also created each child's silhouette with black paper. Then we glued their poem to their silhouette. I always had a parent volunteer come help. Tape the black paper to the wall. Shine the overhead projector light onto the paper. Have the child stand close to the paper in front of the light. Trace each child's profile. Have students who wear glasses take them off for the tracing. I had the parent cut them out so they would be neatly cut. I made mine all face the same direction or the boys face one direction and the girls face another. It makes a wonderful keepsake. Oh I did the tracing with chalk and then wrote the child's name on the back in chalk as well. The silhouette needs to be a little larger than the paper the poem is written on to look good. Add a date at the bottom of the poem or the back of the silhouette for future reference.

You might want to make one of you to use as an example. You could laminate it so it will last for several years. It will help them understand the assignment better and also allow them to get to know you better.
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File Type: pdf biopoem.pdf (89.1 KB, 522 views)
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Love the idea
Old 05-28-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I am moving to 4th grade from 3rd next year and I think the biopoem is an awesome idea (and correlated to our standards!!!) Thanks!!!
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I started the year
Old 05-28-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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with the "I Used to Think" poem. I thought they turned out really cute and the kids enjoyed doing them. If you have technology available there is an online form that can be filled in and then printed out. Otherwise you can create your own template and have the kids illustrate.

Here is the online format:

http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/iusedto.htm
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:15 AM
 
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Oooh! I like this poem! Think I may have to use this come August! Thanks!


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This would be perfect
Old 05-29-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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for the looping teacher. Her kids knew her in one level and now they're moving onto a new level.

Thanks so much---for those of us who get a new group each year, we could use it either midway or at the end of the school year.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I always like to read How to be a Perfect Person in 3 Days by Stephen Manes. Its silly but its a fast read that lends itself beautiful to discussion. I always finish it in 3 days. I invited the kids to do the challenges the character is trying inorder to become perfect. Day one is wear broccoli as a necklace. It doesn't tell you why until day two----lesson if you can wear broccoli you are fearless and able to think for yourself inspite of what other people might be saying. etc

* No one is perfect and we all have challenges in life.
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I love that novel!
Old 05-30-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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The students always enjoy the story. Mine read it later in the year tough. I read mine The Coupon Book. It is a school story set in France. The teacher gives coupons, so then I give coupons to my students during the year as well. The fifth grade teacher in the novel shows his students that learning is a gift.
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What I do
Old 05-31-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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On the very first day of school, I meet the kids at my door and have them go straight to their desk with everything they have. I don't get them to unpack at first. I take this time to relax and chat with them about the summer. (I don't have to do too much in the way of "getting to know you games", because I am in a VERY small school and we already know each other.) After we chat for a bit, I go over the morning routine, and show them how I expect them to enter the classroom, where to put their homework, and what they do once they get to their seat, etc. We make a chart together on "The Morning Routine", and I let them know that I expect them to do it every morning.

I then read a book called "First Day Jitters", and the kids love it. It's a story about the first day of school and the main character is scared and worried. When the story ends, you find out it's the teacher who is the main character. Too cute! We talk about nervousness and what their thoughts are today. What are their concerns, thoughts, etc.

I then give them a "Welcome Back Sack" and in the sack I usually put a pencil, eraser, bookmark, homework pass, gotcha (a reward we do in fourth), a snack, and something sweet (because we're going to have a SWEET year!) Sometimes I'll put other things in it like a pencil sharpener if I can find them cheaply at Staples. I'll attach the note I put on their sack.

I do a "Personality Bingo" with the kids. It's a group activity that takes about 20 minutes or so. I'll attach it, too.

I use binders in my class, so I take about 45 minutes and we set up their binders together.

I begin the bio poem ( like mentioned by 1956bd). We usually take a few days to do this, because I get them to type it up and then decorate it. I also take a "crazy" picture of each kid out on the playground and hang it by their poem after I hang them in the hall.

The last thing we do is go over the afternoon routine and practice it before they leave for the day.


For the first week of school, I get the kids to put together a time capsule that they will open on the last day of school. In the time capsule we put in a sheet about their favorite things, a hemp string that matches their height, a paper with their hand traced on it, a 50 facts multiplication test, and a poem they write in cursive. We do the facts test and poem again at the end of the year to compare the difference. We also compare their height and hand size as well.

I also do a LOT of work on respect and responsibility, because I really want the kids to know that I expect THEM to be responsible for their work and be respectful in and out of class.

The last day of the first week of school I do a "Procedures Jeopardy" with them. I'll attach the board I use on my overhead, but the questions I ask are in a binder at school. I typically ask things like "When should you sharpen your pencils?" and "When are you allowed to get a drink of water?" I wish I could remember them, but I'm drawing a blank! If you need them, I can send them to you later.

Also, beginning the second day of school, I begin doing lessons. I ease into them, but I start them right away, and I actually begin homework on the first day of school. It's nothing big, but to get them ready for the routine.

Hope this helps you some! If you have any questions, just let me know!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Welcome_Back_Sack.pdf (204.7 KB, 420 views)
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Personality Bingo
Old 05-31-2010, 07:46 AM
 
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Here's the sheet I created. Where it says "teacher's signature" I put a sea turtle because I LOVE them!


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File Type: pdf Personality_Bingo.pdf (179.7 KB, 455 views)
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Respect Sheet
Old 05-31-2010, 07:50 AM
 
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I use this sheet to teach the kids what respect looks like in various places in the school. We talk about what respect looks like in the classroom, and I write down their ideas on the board. After this, we brainstorm together all the areas they will be throughout the school year besides the classroom such as the library, cafeteria, bathroom, gym, etc. I break them up into groups and they work together to come up with a list of what respect looks like in the area they chose to focus on. When the groups are done, each report out the things they came up with. The other groups offer other ideas if they can.
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File Type: pdf Respect_Sheet.pdf (48.2 KB, 497 views)
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Responsibility Sheet
Old 05-31-2010, 07:52 AM
 
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I do the same thing as the respect sheet, but with the focus on how they show responsibility.
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File Type: pdf Responsibility_Sheet.pdf (186.1 KB, 392 views)
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Respect/Responsibility Homework
Old 05-31-2010, 07:54 AM
 
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After doing both of the previous lessons, I give them this sheet as homework.
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File Type: pdf Show_It_at_Home.pdf (263.4 KB, 381 views)
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First Night's Homework
Old 05-31-2010, 07:57 AM
 
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This is the homework I give on the first day of school. I need to tweak it a bit, but you get the idea of what I want them to do.
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File Type: pdf It's_Homework_Time.pdf (71.4 KB, 502 views)
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Procedures Jeopardy
Old 05-31-2010, 07:59 AM
 
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Here is the board I use on the overhead. I make a transparency of it, and as they ask the questions, I put a marker on that square. At some point I'll actually make a jeopardy game to use on my computer, but for now this works.
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File Type: doc Procedures Jeopardy.doc (119.0 KB, 423 views)
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Jeopardy questions
Old 05-31-2010, 07:59 AM
 
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I found them!!
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File Type: doc Back to School Jeopardy.doc (104.0 KB, 425 views)
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Oh!
Old 05-31-2010, 08:05 AM
 
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And by the way, I don't think you're crazy for thinking about the new year at all! I'm not even done with school yet, and I'm already thinking about the beginning of the new year. I still have almost 3 weeks left of THIS year! Maybe I'M the crazy one!
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Wow!
Old 05-31-2010, 08:22 AM
 
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Thanks for posting all of this stuff! I teach 3rd but definitely think I can tweak some of the stuff and use with my kiddos next year! I love the procedures jeopardy and the first night's homework!! Thanks again!
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Already Planning for Next Year Too
Old 05-31-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Thank you for posting some of your resources to use on the first day/week of school. I am already planning as well for next year by gathering stuff together. I like the Respect and Responsibility worksheets. It's good to be able to have kids describe what such abstract concepts "look like." Your worksheets do just that. Again, thank you. Becky
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Thank you for posting all of that great stuff! I will definitely use it next year!!!
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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Yes, Thanks - These are great ideas
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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Thanks cool stuff--
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to post your hardwork!

Since you have looped with these kids MissWalton, what are some things that you are looking to revamp in your class? What have you found that works well? What do you think you need to redo? I think that might help me to better answer your question (as I am not sure what you have already done with them!)
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Thanks for all the great ideas...do you have?
Old 06-01-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Thank you so much. I took over a 4th grade class in November, so I didn't have the opportunity to go through the beginning of the school year procedures.

Do you happen to have a weekly homework routine? I need to change what i did this year.

Thanks again.
Even though I'm exhausted and still have 6 days remaining (but who's counting!) I'm looking forward to the next school year.
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R & r
Old 06-02-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing! I especially love the Showing respect and responsibility brainstorming pages. My 3 classroom rules are 1) Be respectful, 2) Be responsible and 3) Be prepared. So, I will just need to create one more, and I'll be all set.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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Thanks, vzteacher, for sharing those files. I appreciate it! I've read First Day Jitters for several years now on the first day. Have you read Last Day Blues? Same author. Just for the end of the year instead of the start.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:33 AM
 
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Good to know I am not the only one already thinking about next year! Thanks to everyone for all these wonderful resources.

One of my favorite beginning-of-the-year writing activities the year I looped from 4th to 5th grade was to have the kids write about their summer, from their feet's point of view. We talked about how our feet probably experienced summertime differently than we did (sore from days at amusement parks, wrinkly from days in the pool), and their pieces turned out to have lots of personality.
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old post might be helpful
Old 06-06-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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This is what i do with my third graders.

http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...ad.php?t=93448
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas.
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Thank you!
Old 06-08-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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Thank you, vzteacher! These are some great activities and I appreciate you sharing them. I am always looking for new ideas and these are fantastic.
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ThAnK yOu...
Old 06-24-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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VZTEACHER...your attachments/ideas are awesome...I will definitely use them!! That's why I love proteacher b/c of the awesome ideas you can get!!
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First week procedures
Old 07-11-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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Thank you so much for posting all this information. I will be teaching for the first time as the teacher of record this fall and will have a fourth grade class. I can definitely use these materials.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:39 AM
 
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Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, they are wonderful! I forgot about implementing a lesson on respect, so I will definately be adding this...it is perfect!!!
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Wow!!! Wow!!! Wow!!!
Old 08-12-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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Thank you so much for posting all of this....amazing!!!! I cannot wait to use it in my 4th grade classroom!!!

LaKeta
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