I like to start off the first day of school by pushing all of the desks to the side of the room and setting up enough hula hoops for each student in my class.
I have been doing this for years now and I find it is a great way to start off the day. I have traditionally had a pencil and paper activity for the students to do as soon as they come into the room. This year, I decided to throw away the interest inventory and get them creating something instead.
I found this activity on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. I added the caveat that the students would be sharing their creations in a little show and tell.
I love this play on words, “Doh Be Shy. Open it up and make something”
It’s a stress-free activity that lets the students build and rebuild until it’s time to share.
I managed to find a Mega-Pack of Play-Doh for a great price too. I have kept the mats so this can also a rainy day recess activity this year too. Well worth the investment of 32 cans of modelling clay.
I started off the sharing session by saying, “My name is Mr. March and I made a Daredevil because he is my favourite super-hero. His logo is two inter-locking D’s.”
Each student shared their creations and I learned something about them in the process.
Next, we talk about personal space and how every person in the school is entitled to it. “Your personal space is akin to you standing in a hoop and no one else breaking that perimeter.” It is a really nice visual that we can refer back to throughout the year.
I then move the students into groups of three to create Venn DIagrams of things they have in common with each other and some things that are unique to each group member.
You can learn a lot as a teacher about the interests of your students from this activity as well.
I had a lot more planned for the first day of school. It is important to over-plan. You can download my full day plan here. Stay tuned to this blog every Tuesday for more great teaching ideas.
Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive – 200 ideas and counting