July 23, 2016

Back to School Ideas - Who Am I? Activity

School is beginning to creep into my thoughts. I have a few weeks left but am itching to plan out my first few days. Here is one thing I know will be on my schedule! I'll plan in roughly twenty minutes on the first day to do a "Who Am I?" activity. It's easy, fun and kids are guaranteed success.
It's a simple two-sided paper with fill in the blank questions on one side and an illustration box on the other. It is straightforward so kids can work independently and help each other with reading if needed. Add this to your plans on the first day of school and pull it out again on the last. A fun and flexible time filler!

As with any project I expect students to complete, I create my own model. Most of the kids don't know me well so they like to see my answers and illustration. Note: I try to put in some pretty unique answers to the questions. Kids in my age group are easily 'inspired'. My first year I showed that my favorite place was the beach. Guess what everyone else's favorite place was?

Since it's the first day of school I don't worry about spelling - but I do want them to spend time on the illustration. Every moment of that first day (no, I take that back, every moment of the first month) is an opportunity to model expectations. In addition to being a fun and relaxing time of the day it serves several purposes. First, I talk about filling the WHOLE box when working on an illustration. This is also a great time to bring in the correct (and incorrect) use of crayons and how to sharpen a pencil. Seriously, never assume they know! Describing those basic procedures sets the stage for the rest of the year. I don't let them use markers because I don't want it to bleed through.
I let my students read their answers out loud to the class to give some public speaking practice then I take the papers and tuck them away in my LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL file.
On the last day of school I project the Q & A side and let the class guess who it belongs to. I do it in small chunks throughout the day to keep it fresh and we laugh a lot. Kids are amazed at their beginning of the year answers answers and how much they have grown. There always seems to be one kid who guesses that their own answers belong to someone else.

This is easy enough to make on your laptop but if you're looking to save time and have an attractive, "hall ready" item (updated since these models)
The simple and fun First Day of School and Last Day of School Who Am I? activity is available in my TpT store. Best of luck on YOUR first day!

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