Saturday, August 31, 2013

All hands on deck! {back to school activity}

I don't know about you, but I am SO EXCITED that it's the weekend.  On top of that, it's a 3 day weekend!  Those first three days of school wiped me out!  It is so easy to forget how hard it is to be on your feet and be "on" all day.

So anyways, we worked really hard in Room 5 this week getting to know each other and I can already say that I love my new kiddos!! They have so much energy and are super sweet - I am excited to spend the next 180something days with these 10 and 11 year olds!

I shared with you a glimpse of my first week plans (which I always over-plan) and I mentioned that I (along with Stephanie from teachinginroom6) saw an incredible pin about a cute back to school activity.  

The kids may know each other because most children in my building have been together since pre-k.  However, this year we have a new student, so this activity worked perfect to establish relationships early in the year.

First, the students made a circle map. In the middle, I had them write "me" and in the outside circle I gave them 5-7 minutes to brainstorm all the things about them that makes them special (hobbies, interests, favorite subjects, pets, family, talents, etc).

Next, the kiddos got an 11x17" piece of white paper.  They traced their arm on the paper and decorated their arms with illustrations from their circle map.

I told them that in their arms, they were to leave no white space, so the whole arm was colorful.  To get them started and their brains working, I traced my arm and started to draw some of their ideas on my hand.  Immediately, I saw lightbulbs go off and they were anxious to get started on their own hand. 

What they came up with was so amazing! They are pretty creative kiddos.  Students who didn't finish in class had to finish their arms for homework.  This is the handout that went home with the students about the assignment:

credit goes to Stephanie again for this handout

Here is the final product:

Before I put up the bulletin board, I had the students sit on their desks in a circle and we went around the room, explaining what significance the drawings on their arms were.  It was so much fun and we learned a lot about each other through this activity.

This is something that I am definitely doing next year!


  1. I love the board! The black with the colorful hands looks fantastic! Glad you had such a great week with your kiddos!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  2. I love the way you displayed your hands on your board. I really enjoyed doing this project in my class also.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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