FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

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[ All About Me ] [ Group Photos ] [ Ladders ] [ Journal ] [ Seating Plan ]

  Author:  Diane Clark

                FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Various Activities

                   "All About Me" activity

     1) Hand out an 8.5" X 14" piece of paper (let the kids choose
     a colour)

     2) Ask them to write their name in large colourful letters
     (fancy, bubble, etc.) in the middle of the page.

  TEACHER'S NOTE: I do a sample on the board while they are working
  on paper.

     3) In the top left corner, have students finish the sentence
     "My family......".

     4) In the top right corner, have students finish the sentence
     "My favourite thing to do is....".

     5) In the bottom left corner, have students finish the sentence
     "I really don't like....".

     6) In the bottom right corner, have students finish the sentence
     "Other people find me....".

     7) In the top middle, have students finish the sentence
     "One day I'd love to.....".

     8) In the bottom middle, have students finish the sentenceand
     "I'd love to meet....".

  TEACHER'S NOTE: We do these one by one, and it takes quite a while
  for everyone to finish.

  When finished:

     a) explain that they are going to stand up, hold their paper
     in from of them facing out

     b) quietly walk around and read other people's papers.

  TEACHER'S NOTE: No talking is involved. This takes about 5 minutes,
  then I have the kids sit down. One by one I go around the room and
  introduce each child to the class and ask 

     "Who can tell me something interesting about this person?".

  Hands fly up as kids are eager to prove that they read what was on
  the student's paper.  I collect these papers after the exercise and
  post them in the room - kids enjoy reading them in the weeks to come
  and parents enjoy them on the Meet the Teacher night.
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                      GROUP PHOTOS:

     1) Students are handed a piece of 8.5 X 14 paper
           * cardboard, folded in half longwise *

     2) Students are asked to put their names in large colourful
     letters on both sides of the name card (easier to be seen
     from anywhere in the room).

  TEACHER'S NOTE: These name cards will be on display until I learn
  their names, and then will go in my desk to be distributed when a
  supply (sub) teacher visits the room.

     3) For the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, ask the students to stand in
     groups of 3-4 somewhere in the room, holding their name cards
     in front of them.

     4) Photograph each group.

     5) Develop the film at a one-hour studio right after school and
     then start to memorize students names and faces at home that
     evening.

  EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are lucky enough to have a digital camera at
  your school, use it to take your pics. You can make copies of the
  pics right away and you can reuse the files for other activities
  (It is best to save them in JPEG/JPG format.

     6) At school the next day, tack the photos on a ready-made
     bulletin board titled... 

                  "Class XXX, starring.......".

                    The kids will love it.
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              LADDERS: A Word Game for Language Arts

     1)  Select a word, such as "September" and write it vertically
     on the board. 

     2) Then write it backwards, vertically, beside it.

                  S...........................R
                  E...........................E
                  P...........................B
                  T...........................M
                  E...........................E
                  M...........................T 
                  B...........................P
                  E...........................E
                  R...........................S


     3) Students get into pairs, get a dictionary, and try to find the
     longest word possible that begins with an "S" and ends with "R".

     4) If they don't know the meaning of this word they are to write
     it down after the word.

     5) Continue with every letter of "September ".  After 15 minutes
     (or any pre-arranged time) the students stop the activity and add
     up all of the letters in the words they found.

  TEACHER'S NOTE: The pair with the top score wins a little prize
  (eraser, pencil, etc.) but I also give out prizes for the longest
  word, shortest word, word with most vowels, etc., so that all
  students have a chance to win a prize.
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                        JOURNAL WRITING

  TEACHER'S NOTE: The first day of school is an opportune time to
  get some true feelings down on paper.

     Topics can be

     1) "This morning, getting reading for school, I felt.........".

     2) "I hope this year will be better than last year because........".

     3) "I've been told by others that grade ___ will be......".

  EDITOR'S NOTE: Great idea -- be creative and make up some of your
  own. when you do this -- send them to me and I will add them to the
  list above.
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                     HELP FOR SEATING PLAN

     1) I have the students fill out a confidential sheet

          "Getting to know you" with varied questions such as....
     a) I like/dislike reading because................
     b) My favourite subject in school is............
     c) My general feeling about school is...................
     d) My favourite genre of books is................

     2) In the last question students are asked to think seriously
     about who they would like to sit near in class

  TEACHER'S NOTE: They must tell me why, with a good reason such as....
  we work well together) and I ask them to name anyone in the class
  they don't particularly want to be near (again, they must give a
  good reason, such as....I am easily distracted by ..... and want
  to do better academically this year)

     3) In the evening, using these sheets, create an effective
     SEATING PLAN by placing kids near those who will benefit them,
     and keeping them away from those who will hinder their progress
     as a student.

  TEACHER'S NOTE: Works every time, and I rarely have had to change
  kids around. The sheets also help me to get to know the students a
  bit better before day two of school.
          

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