Diggin' Into Next Year: Beginning of the Year

Blogging about my plans for next year, has kept me motivated and excited for another school year! Here is a peak into the rest of the schedule for this blog series. 

Make sure you are following. A little birdie told me that the giveaway in August is going to be BIG!!!

...start the year! And since I only have one more week of summer break, this is especially pertinent!

Let's first tackle open house. Pun is intended because I make my open house into a Kick Off Party!

It is the perfect way to start the year in our sports themed classroom!

When families come in, they will go to a series of centers that are marked with cones and signs.

At the first center, they will find their folder. Each student has a folder with their desk nameplate paper clipped to the front. I split the boys and girls into two different baskets just to make it easier for them to find their folder. I also have a basket for finished folders.

One side of the folder had papers for the parent to bring home and read at their convenience. The other side had the papers I needed filled out right away. These are emergency contact papers and info about allergies, etc.

The second station is where students will sort and drop their school supple that I requested. They receive a letter during summer break with this list. We encourage families to bring the supplies during open house. It gives me time to put them away and eliminates a tiny bit of the chaos on the first day.

Putting away the supplies can take forever, so I make sure to have a container for every type of supply. Then the students put the supplies in the appropriate containers. After open house, I put the lids on and store the containers on top of my cabinets.

The third center is a place where I request classroom volunteers and any extra wish list supplies.

And at the last center, they get to have a treat!

I had muffins and a watermelon that we carved to look like a football helmet. This center was a hit with all my new students.

This was last year's open house. I plan to run it very similar this year but I am considering making it paperless. I am not the most incredibly tech savvy person, so we will see if I can pull this off.

Now on to some fun first day/week of school activities:

On the first day of school, I use a lot of the activities from my First Day of School Sports Activities.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Find a teammate who... is a great way to get kiddos out of their seats and meeting their peers.
My Summer Score is a fun way to get kids reflecting on the activities they did over the summer. Since they have to add their points, it is a good glimpse into their basic math skills too!
Tour the Stadium is another way to kiddos out of their seat, but this time they are exploring their new classroom.

Another activity that I LOVE doing with my third graders is celebrating on the 3rd day of school! I like to use my 3rd Day of 3rd Grade Task Cards. We do a scoot for this activity.

Here is a peak at a few of the cards:

Half of the questions are get-to-know-you type questions and the other half review 2nd grade skills. This activity helps me get to know my students personally and academically.

I have a new activity to add to my back-to-school repertoire! I want my students to be able to make a scrapbook of their first day of school. I didn't want it to just be another packet of papers. I wanted it to be more special. So I made a Back To School Paper Bag Book!

Here is a sneak peak at a few of the pages inside:

I made End of Year Paper Bag books with my kids last year and they loved them. I bet these ones are a hit as well! While they are coloring and cutting, I can get any extra school supplies put away. And when they are writing, I can observe and learn a little about their writing skills. Win win!

Are you planning for the beginning of the year yet?

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