As the 1st day is approaching, we're all scrambling to get that "organized" and "accomplished" feeling, right? Right. So, I thought I'd help out a little bit so you can sit down at the end of preplanning and say, "Ahh." Here is a little collection of things you might be interested in to get you started on your back to school mission.
The Home Front Comes First
If you're a teacher and mom, try out these cute little lunchbox jokes and messages. Just download, cut and place where you can stick them in your own baby's lunch. :) You can view lunch packing ideas on my pinterest board below.
Lunchbox Jokes -The Crafted Sparrow
Get to Know You Games & Ideas
Check out my pinterest board for Back to School for ideas for get to know you games in the widget below.
Get to Know your Students - from The Owl Teacher
Books to Read the First Week
I think we all have our favorite books because I haven't met an educator yet who doesn't LOVE the thought of a good piece of literature and read aloud time! I've comprised a little list of a few of my favorites here and will give you a more length list in a link. Visit Jenny's blog for a lenthy list.
Back to School Books - from The Jenny Revolution
The Kissing Hand- I love this book! It's great for little ones and reminds them their moms still love them and want them be okay at school all day! A great idea would be to send home a cut-out template of a heart for moms to make with their littles and send to school with them the first week. They can keep in their book bags. Use caution. This wouldn't probably be a good idea for emotional kinders! More suited for 1st grade or 2nd!
ABCers- A cute alphabet book to review the alphabet!
If You Take a Mouse to School- Need I say anything? We love this book, all of them Mouse books, really. There is a cute mouse template on my Back to School 2016 pinterest board below. For kindergarten, I actually did this activity with my little Roo the first day. She loves to draw and is quite an artist. She was to illustrate a picture of her and the mouse if he (or a girl version) was at school with her.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom- Not really a first day theme, but it's a fun way to start off the year in kinder! I've seen lots of bulletin board ideas for this book and the beginning of the year.
David Goes to School - Hello! We LOVE the David books. Who doesn't? This is a GREAT time to talk about classroom procedures. I like the idea of making a chart with David's head on each side, one with a smiley and one with a frowny. Brainstorm and talk about things we do in school and things we don't do in school. Great for kinder again! (We're doing kindergarten this year if you cannot tell.) :)
First Day Jitters- This is a super cute book with a surprise ending! I liked reading it to my third graders the first day of school!
You can search for any of these books on Amazon. What are your favorite books for back to school?
First Week of School Activities
There are many first week activities you can certainly pick from, but I thought I'd share this one this year.
Are You a Bucket Filler- from Scholastic Blog: I thought this was a SUPER neat idea! We all know the first 6 weeks of school should be a lot of procedures and routine teaching (Harry Wong college flashback). whoa. Okay. So, we also know that teaching a classroom culture is important as well. This year focus on building a culture of kindness. There's a big movement out there for this, Teacher People! I'm pretty sure you can even by a shirt. This mini-lesson discussed with photos on the Scholastic blog goes right a long with the book. "How Full is your Bucket"? Modeling this is ideal throughout the year, but having an upfront mini-lesson that's literature based, of course, would go a long way in the minds of your children.
Back to School Bags and Tags
Okay, yes, I homeschool and I only had to buy 2 of these, but it went over AWESOME in getting my girls motivated for school. My hubby and I hit the dollar aisle at TARGET (which happens to be full of neat little games and school supplies) and put together two Back to School goody bags. I know that could get super expensive for a whole classroom of kids, but it's the thought that counts, right? Giving students a decorative pencil, a candy good bag or just a handwritten note (don't underestimate the value of handwritten, which is fleetingly rare) letting them know you are excited to have them in your class goes a long way to encourage and motivate both students and parents!
BUT if you'd rather not take the time write out say...twenty-one notes before you start back, you can also find some pretty cute little tags for goody bags to print up and assemble before that first day!