Have you started school yet? Students start on August 27th in my school district and teachers officially start on August 20th, although many of us have been busy attending staff development and making things for our classroom already.
Today I thought I would share with you some of my tried and true first day of school activities. They are favorites of mine and my students and a great way to start off the year..... Puzzle Races and Saving Fred.
First the puzzle races. All you need to do is to divide your class into groups of 4-5 students and you need some puzzles. I set up my student desks in in groups of 4-5 students so that is how I decide my groups. You can find inexpensive puzzles at the dollar store and even Target's dollar spot. Of course you should pick a puzzle size that is appropriate to the age of students you have. I buy 100 piece puzzles and its perfect for my 4th graders. I always buy the same puzzle for each group so no one can claim that their group's puzzle was harder or easier. :) The puzzles I am using this year are pictured to the left. I bought them for a dollar each at Target.
I give each "team" a puzzle and tell them they must work together to complete the puzzle before the other teams finish theirs. The conversations that go on are priceless. You will learn a lot from your students by just watching and listening. Once every group has completed their puzzles we have a talk about what some of the groups good strategies were. I've heard everything from "we did the border of the puzzle first" to "we didn't get bossy with each other".
Now for the Saving Fred. For this fun activity you will need: a gummy worm, a gummy ring, a plastic cup, and paper clips per group. You can do this activity in partners but I prefer to do it in small groups. In fact, I like to use the same groups that did the puzzles together. I also usually do this activity the second day of school and do the puzzle race on the first day.
The back to school must haves are a bit of a weird combination but they are definitely must haves!
I don't have the Silhouette YET but I will one day soon! It doesn't require cartridges like the cricut but does the same thing!