It’s finally time to start building the classroom community. As I write my lesson plans, I include getting-to-know-you activities. These activities provide opportunities for the students to interact positively with one another. The children are eager to make new friends, learn about the classroom environment, and become part of a school family. After all, the classroom will become a home away from home for the next ten months.
ME IN A BAG:
I know that there are many people who already do this activity but I hope that someone will find this helpful for the beginning of the year!
I bring a sack with a running shoe, a bread pan, a piece of stained glass, something of my daughter’s etc .I group students and dump a few things on each table.Then, I give them a few minutes to say what they think each item says about me !I invite them to bring their own sack on the following day and I am always surprised of how many kids actually, bring one! It is fun to see how excited the kids get when they discover that a classmate has something in common with them.
Note: The Me in a bag idea is adapted from a classroom banner example. The professional book is from a Scholastic book club order. I do not think it is available from the online store at this time. You could include a simple note to families requesting three or four small objects for each child to share.
Well, when it is my kids’ turn to let their classmates guess about the items in their bags, they share so many personal stories, too! A precious moment was yesterday ,when a girl showed the class an old DVD…and finally revealed that it was her late grandmother’s birthday present when she was much younger!
They used to watch it together, laugh and share unforgetable moments ! Then , she broke down in tears!! ” I really miss my grandma, miss” she said! I gave her a hug and thanked her for sharing such a precious moment with the rest of the class!
MY PARTNER’S PORTRAIT
I have students draw and color their partner’s portrait on the first day of school. These portraits make perfect keepsakes to pull out at the end of the year. Students are later , asked to brainstorm descriptive phrases and adjectives to write on the frame of their portrait , which talk about their special interests personality and talents! They are also free to comment on their partner’s portrait. Finally, all portraits are displayed in class. Rapport matters!