Back to School: Starting the year off right!

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In honor of the fabulous back to school sale at Teachers Pay Teachers on August 3rd and 4th (code BTS515), I am sharing some great resources for starting the year and setting the tone.

First is a great 1st day (or week) activity that I do with my students every year.  I grab a suitcase (mine, but a gender neutral one) and ask the kids to gather around.  I have students make observations: it's blue, it's battered (or well-worn), there were tears on the edges, it's an athletic bag.

When exterior observations are complete, I open the suitcase and begin pulling out objects from the top layer (separated) by cardboard from each layer - items include running shoes (well-worn), a book, and a camera on the first level, with each layer revealing a bit more. I ask students to first list what we have found and then make observations.

The students are completely hooked and my students know what I expect: 

  • I expect polite participation (I simply don't call on kids who shout out constantly);
  • I value each student and the contribution s/he can make to the discussion
  • This class is about active learning; I won't be giving them the answers;
  • Analytical thinking will be key to success in my class. 

The students have a blast making observation about my bag and get to know me a little on that first day of school, and of course, the big reveal of the bag belonging to me is fabulous. I, then, have students pack their own bags and bring them in later in the week. We unpack them in small groups and learned a whole lot about each other. That first student share, which I later called Guess Who?, went okay, but I have since tweaked and clarified it.

Second as you get ready to go back to school, why not take stock up with the sale.  Among buyer favorites that you might want to check out:

A day with Leonardo DaVinci: Station activities - 4 station activities to engage students in the many talents of Leonardo DaVinci beyond his painting.

Mystery Box: S.T.E.M. Design Challenge: Great for problem solving, creative thinking, bell-ringers and more.

Algebra and Pre-Algebra Ultimate Math Bundle:  Huge 245 page, 9 project art meets math set of projects for use all year long.  With the sale, you save nearly 50%.

And newly added, but already highly rated, the American Colonies Pop-Town:  Students learn about what is in an American colonial town and then literally create their own.  A HUGE hit with students.

Sale August 3rd and 4th.  Don't forget to use the code  BTS515.  My entire store is 20% off plus with the TPT code, you save 28%!



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