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Welcome Back to Another School Year
Making a new beginning!
Every year we're both sad, and proud to see so many students move on to the next level in their lives, and every year we're excited to welcome in the new students that will be with us for the next few years as we learn and grow along side one another. Its sometimes tough to scramble up those lessons plans for the first few months, and get to know the immediate interests of your new students. Especially when you're in a rush to get the room organized, and the students settled into their new routines.
So here's a few ideas to help move past those first few weeks. These ideas are very open ended, and can be expanded upon in many ways. We hope you'll find them helpful as you welcome in your new students, and begin another year in the classroom.
Making Name Mats!
These are great for name recognition, as well as encouraging fine motor skills. Children will love picking the colors, and using these at circle time for seating arrangements. If you cover them with plastic they can also be used as food place mats at snack, and lunch.
Plastic sheet covers (or vinyl paper covers), assorted colored paper, a thick black sharpie, glitter, glue, confetti, crayons, small stickers, and other decorative materials.
Write each child's name on their choice of colored paper in big bubble letters, and then encourage them to color the letters. After they have finished coloring they can decorate it further using the glitter, glue, and confetti. Some might even have fun putting small stickers around the mat if you supply some. After they're name mats are complete protect them by either using a plastic sheet cover taped shut, or vinyl paper covers.
Decorating Art Folders!
This is a wonderful idea for saving the best of your students art projects in a book as a year-end gift to their parents. It helps save you time, and money in figuring out what to send home with the students at the end of each school season. The children will have plenty of fun decorating them, and might even suggest some ideas of their own for what should go in them.
Duo-tang folders or binders, plastic page covers, confetti, paper shapes, name tags, felts, crayons, paint, glitter, glue, stickers, and other decorative materials.
Invite the children to write their names on a name tag, and glue it to the front of the folder. Have them color, paint, and decorate them to their hearts content, and insert a handful of plastic page covers into each of them for keeping their art projects hole-free, and safe. Once they're complete store them somewhere where the parents and the children won't be able to access them till the end of the school year, and be sure to place as much of the children's best art pieces in them as possible.
Magazine file boxes make great personalized mailboxes that you can use for making sure that the children's art, parent/teacher letters, book orders, and other important notices make it to each family safely. The children will also enjoy being able to write letters for each other, and placing them their friends mailboxes throughout the year. At the end of the year it can also be handy in holding everything the child needs to take home with them before the school closes.
Magazine file boxes, paint, felts, glitter, stickers, name tags, and glue.
Invite the children to decorate the boxes using the materials provided. Encourage them to cover the boxes completely. Help them to write their names on a name tag, and glue it to the front or side of the box depending on which side will be immediately visible for the children, and parents to see. After they're finished allow for the boxes to dry, and then display them appropriately at a height that both the parents and children can reach.
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