Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our Names

Beginning the School Year

Names Unit

For most of my activities the first two weeks, I use Deanna Jump's Names Unit, available on TpT. It's expensive, but well worth it. The activities we use in this unit include:
  • The Wheels on the Bus Letter Craft & Song
  • Rainbow Names
  • A my name is Alice Class Book
  • Willaby Wallaby Woo Class Book
  • Bippity Boppity Bumblebee Class Book (syllable count)
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Class Book


The books we've made from this unit become longtime favorites. We read them over and over again, and they fall apart in a few months from all the use!

Nature Names

Every year we go out to collect leaves, twigs & other treasures just outside our school's back door, and then decorate our names with them. I think next year I'll switch it up and just do first letters. I have many kids with long names in this class, so it was a bit cumbersome.

Glue Dots

This is a really fun freebie from Caitlyn Clabby. It's good practice for using a glue bottle, especially for children who didn't attend Preschool. The kids enjoy it, too!



Classroom Agreements

Instead of classroom rules, we decided to make agreements this year instead. We discussed how we should act in class and why, and came up with this list. We took pictures and the children wrote out the words. Finally, we signed our names and our poster went up in the hall for everyone to see.

Credit for the idea goes to The Simplicity of Learning, which is a wonderful blog.


Book List

These are my favorite books for the beginning of the year. They are easy for kids to learn to "read" on their own, and become favorites that I leave out all year.

No, David! by David Shannon 



I'm honestly not a big fan of these books, but the kids LOVE them, especially the boys. And they're great for talking about behavior at the beginning of the year.


 Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean & Eric Litwin



We love Pete the Cat! All the books are sing-songy, so they hold kid's attentions even in those first few weeks. Best of all, this one is all about starting school!


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.

Another universally-loved book- and there are so many ideas out there for related literacy activities.


Other Favorites:


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