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    Activities for the first few days
    By Robin

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    Congratulations on getting fourth grade. It is my favorite grade to teach. I have several things I do the first week of school. The first day includes a lot of introductions, explanations, and talking. I try to break it up with several different activities.

    1. When students arrive, I have a few directions on the board...what to do with materials, supplies, lunches, etc. At their seats are two pieces of paper. The first is a "Pop Quiz." It includes 10-15 True/False statements about myself. The other piece of paper is an interest inventory including likes, dislikes,
    favorites, etc.

    2. After we take care of some initial business, I go over the quiz. It is a fun way to tell the students about myself. The student who gets the most correct wins a pencil or piece of candy.

    3. The day continues with some more talking...establishing rules and procedures.

    4. Bingo...I give students a card with 16 boxes. Each box
    includes a different statement:
    Has blonde hair.
    Is the youngest
    in the family.
    Wears glasses.
    Has been to another country.
    Can count to ten in another language.
    Was born in the same month.

    Students must walk around the room and get the signatures of classmates to complete the bingo board. It's a great way for students to get to know each other. Each student can only sign a
    person's board in one square. I participate in the game, too.
    Afterwards, we talk about the squares and all the people who were eligible to sign that square.

    5. A writing activity I like to complete during the first week is a poem adaptation on Judith Voirst's "If I were in charge of the world" You can find some examples on the 03-04 Student Work page of my website. I begin the assignment by reading the poem to the students. We then brainstorm lots of different things we would change if we were in charge of the world. Next, I give students a copy of the poem with parts left out. I share my own poem as an example. They write in the things they want. It takes a little time to help them make sense of their ideas, but the poems are cute when they are done. After we edit the poems, students publish them in MS Word and add clip art. I put the final products on a bulletin board with a large Earth cut out and a banner reading, "If I were in charge of the world..."

    6. All About Me Poster This is a homework assignment for the first 2 weeks of school. Each student must cut a piece of posterboard into a meaningful shape. Next, they divide their shape
    into 5 parts: 1-Family 2-Favorites 3-Friends 4-School 5-Playtime. Students can add clip art, photos, or drawings. As the posters trickle in, students present them to the class and then I hang them in the hallway. Students have used the following shapes-Football, soccer ball, ballet shoes, USA flag, state outline, McDonald's arches, etc.

    I hope these ideas are helpful. Have a great year.

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