Let's be honest though, I haven't been solely focused on relaxing (what teacher ever is during summer?), I've also been thinking a lot about next year.
What do you do at the beginning of the year? What are your first day icebreakers? As a shy person, I really have a love/hate relationship with icebreakers and team-building activities. As a teacher I see the importance, but as a former shy (well . . . still shy) student I know how nerve-racking those activities can be for some students.
The other thing I see is students just rushing around trying to get the job done. Have you ever used those "find a student" sheets. You know, "find a classmate that has brown hair" or "find a classmate that has a little brother." I use them too, but often the activity turns into a few of the *louder* perhaps more extroverted students racing around the room asking in ever increasing volume: "Do you have a brother? Do you HAVE a BROTHER? DOES ANYONE HAVE A BROTHER?"
So this year, I wanted to try something different. Not too different, but just a *little* different.
I wanted to get the students talking, not just asking yes or no questions, and I also wanted them to try and learn the names of their classmates, not just the names of their friends.
Enter my "Getting to Know You . . ."Back to School Task Card Challenge. I've made 20 (+ 4 bonus) task card questions to post around the room. Students then choose 10 questions (I'm hoping to decrease the anxiety felt by some students, by allowing them choice in the questions they complete) to ask 10 different students. Students must record the task card number, name of student they asked and the student's answer. Since the answers are not yes or no questions, I'm hoping it will get the students talking, rather than racing from one student to the next as they search for a student that fits a category.
Speaking of back to school, have you heard about the Back to School Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers?
From August 4-5th, my entire store will be 20% off and if you use the code BTS14, you'll get additional savings!
I have a some new decor packs available:
As well as some back to school activities:
Looking for a quick author or book study to get your students invested in their reading? Try one of these:
And finally, just need some reading comprehension printables that can be used for any picture or chapter book? Try these: