Top 5 Back to School Activities Linky Party

Tomorrow is MY first day going "back to school". However, it is going to be a little different for me this year since I am now an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher. 

Many of you have already started back and others of you will start getting ready to set up your classrooms. This time of year always brought me a lot of excitement, anxiety and sleepless nights! Therefore, I wanted to create a Linky Party for us to share ideas about our favorite 5 activities we like to do with our class at the beginning of each year. I will miss doing my Top 5 activities so I wanted to share them with you.

#5: On the first day of school I like to read Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School. 

In the story the class uses clay to create their favorite animal. They use their clay creations to introduce themselves to the class. When I tell the class that we are going to do the same thing, excitement fills the air! Usually I change the "rules" a little by allowing them to create their favorite animal or object. They just have to be able to explain how it relates to their own identity. 
This cutie loves to ride horses so she made a horse!
 We paint our creations the next day and they really come to life!
#4: We play the game Would You Rather? This is a great getting to know you activity that really provides insight for you, the teacher, about the different personalities floating around your classroom. It also sparks some great conversation topics! Usually I stand in front of the classroom and read off a list of scenarios. Each "round" presents two different "Would You Rather?" questions and the students walk to either the left hand side or right hand side of the room to show their response. 

I made a Would You Rather Powerpoint that has fun .gif clipart (animated clipart..it MOVES) and it is a great visual for the game. Many times the kids want me to repeat the questions and point to the side of the room they should go to when I am just reading off a piece of paper. This Powerpoint makes it SO much easier. Check it out..

Click {HERE} to find this activity in my TpT store.

#3 Two facts and a fib. The kids think they are playing a game, but really my main motive is to check out their spelling, sentence structure and writing abilities! I give each child a piece of paper (see, I told you I am a true teacher at heart even though I love technology!) and ask them to write two sentences that are facts about themselves and one that is not true. They can put them in any order. Then they share their sentences with the class. Everyone loves to be the person that correctly identifies the fib. Of course I model this first. Here, let's try one:
Sentence 1: I lived in Japan for a month and a half.
Sentence 2: I have a phobia of mice.
Sentence 3: I have one brother.
Sentence 2 was the fib! 

#2 Homework: The first night I do not give any homework but night #2 is the most important homework I think I could give all year! I created a Student/Parent Reading Inventory to help me gauge how my students feel about reading. It is split into two parts. Part one is for students to complete and part two is for parents to complete.

I constantly refer to these inventories throughout the year. They help me pick stories I know my students are interested in. They help me send books home with students who are in need. And most importantly, they help me zone in on the areas the students and parents feel are the weakest. This item can be found at my TpT store if you click {HERE}.

#1 This is a favorite every year: SPIDER WEB. I remember doing this in my youth group at church when I was young and never forgot how powerful of a message it was for me. I usually take the class outside or to the gym for this activity. The class stands in a big circle. I start off with a ball of of yarn and share what I enjoyed most about my summer. Holding the end of the string I throw the ball of yarn to a child. They do the same thing but you have to constantly remind them to grab hold of the string before tossing. Eventually this starts to create a huge web. Once everyone has had a chance to share, the ball of yarn is tossed back to the teacher. This is the most powerful part of the whole activity: You tell the class how each person is an important part of the web. If just one person pulls their string, it effects everyone in the web because we all feel the pull. If one person drops their string, our web is disrupted. I relate this to classroom behavior and how we treat one another. One person's actions can effect our whole class. Throughout the year I refer back to "our class web" and everyone knows what I am talking about!

I would love to hear what your Top 5 activities are for Back to School season. Link up below!