Monday, September 12, 2011

"All About Me" booklets

The first few days of school can be overwhelming - for everyone! To get to know your students, have a multi-day project ready to work on where you can pull students one-on-one and have them dictate words to go with some fun pictures!

Make an "All About Me" booklet, using half sheets of paper with specific prompts, one a day, such as ...

My name is ________________.

The people in my family are ____________________.

I am ______ years old!

I like to eat ________________ and __________________.
My favorite story is ________________________.

The toy I like to play with is __________________________.

... and leave space on each page to have them draw a picture to correspond with what they tell you :)  Make some copies of a cover and let them do the design work to individualize it!

When the days you have allotted are up, you will have new knowledge about each of your students, as well as some great information about their speech sounds, small motor development, attention span, verbal ability, etc. ...   and they will have a BOOK!

Win, win! Have fun!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Name Games

At the beginning of each school year, getting to know your students is always fun ...  now add some digital photos to help them get to know each other!

Even before your younger learners can read names, they can begin to recognize photos and start associating them with the letters of the names connected to them!

Start your new school year off with a quick close-up of each student (get permission from parents!) and use it to label various things in your classroom. A check-in board is a likely first place ... and a helper chart! Attach a photo to placecards before laminating and you'll have your students sorted out in no time! Friends will be excited about identifying each others' names and helping them find their seats :)

Later on, set up a box of letter tiles (available at office/teacher stores or use old Scrabble tiles) and namecards with photos. Children will enjoy figuring out which letters make up each others' names. Use this to launch a center which later can graduate to include basic sight words and vocabulary, also using photos or illustrations - it will be a big hit!

You will find lots of other uses for these photos through the school year - have fun with it!

At the end of the year, take another photo and pair them in a project to show how much growing has taken place!