I have been asked to share some ideas on back to school. Oh, have you seen the back to school commercials already?! I've also heard rumors...but if it's on the internet it has to be true because they can't put anything on line that isn't true, right?!...that school supplies are replacing summer goodies in the stores. Yep. Already. Now before you get all angry and throw things at me because I'm sharing some ideas from a kindergarten classroom, remember, everything can be adapted. And it's always fun to see how the other half (the little ones) live! So, here goes. Back to school...
One of the first things that I do with my class over the course of the first 2 weeks of school is introduce school supplies. This is important for Kindergarten because some of them have never seen school supplies before or been in a school setting. This is important for all grades because these are expectations that students need to learn that will make your classroom run a bit more smoothly! We also start off day one with crayons. (Day 2 is the pencil because crayons are more familiar for most kindergarteners so we start off comfortable!). I introduce the crayons, we talk about what crayons are used for and how we use them. We talk about not breaking them, picking them up off the floor, and where the crayons belong. Then, Mr. Greg breaks out his trusty Crayolas and proceeds to SCRIBBLE all over a picture of a soccer ball. Yep, soccer ball. Why a soccer ball? I use a soccer ball to introduce coloring because it has so many different sections that it's great to practice using lots of colors and coloring in the lines. After I scribble my soccer ball, we discuss my coloring. The kids are not fans of my scribble scrabble. We then discuss how to color better and I model how to color each section neatly with different colors. After modeling, the class gets to color their soccer balls!
(Click the picture to download your copy of this activity)
This soccer ball idea could easily be adapted to older kids by turning it into an ice breaker game where they interview students and write 1 name per section until their soccer ball is filled up. Or it could be used as an interview for 1 classmate and each section is a different question.
The other tip I want to share with you is one that is necessary for every grade level until college. Especially if you have boys. As a kindergarten teacher, day one presents a unique challenge. I must instruct the 4 and 5 year olds on the proper bathroom use...and then I must have a discussion with the boys about making sure we don't mess or tiddle on the floor. This is not easy feat for a 5 year old. They're easily distracted. Everything is a target that must be shot or destroyed. Everything is a challenge: Can I go that far? Trust me, it's true. I was a 5 year old boy once. So how do you get 5 year old boys and 9 year old boys and 15 year old boys and 34 year old boys to not make a mess? It's simple really. All it takes is a spider. SPIDER?!?! Where?! (I hate spiders!) This spider will be your friend!
What I do is draw a spider in the toilet to give the boys something to aim at. Seriously, as long as that spider is there, the floor is dry. If the spider washes away=wet floor. Here is my tip: RUBBER GLOVES! Duh. And do this before the students show up so it's a clean(er) environment. I also get down on my knees to get a 5 year old perspective on where to draw my spider. I use a Sharpie (I'm a Sharpie addict!) and the spider stays for months. Last year our custodian did scrub him off one time so I explained why the spider was there and all was good. I seriously can see this working for older boys just as well. Trust me!
I hope these two ideas give ya some insight into the strange world that is kindergarten and maybe gave you some inspiration for a new back to school idea to try out!
A HUGE thanks to Mrs. Allen for letting me take over her blog today!!! And a huge thanks to you for putting up with a kindergarten dude!
I hope you'll come visit me in my digital spaces!
Add a link to your back to school ideas post. Looking forward to seeing more great ideas!