The students are coming! Whether we are ready or not! They’re coming! It’s time for back to school! As teachers, we all know that those first few minutes of the first-day help set the tone for the whole school year! So, how do we make the first few minutes of the first day of school productive, calm, and most importantly FUN?
PLAYDOUGH! I love using playdough with my “twoodles” on the first day of school. They are busy making stuff, talking to their new classmates about what they are making and talking to YOU, the teacher, about what they are doing! They are engaged, happy, and learning about their new friends! It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN! I also let the students keep their playdough for the first week of school to help stave off the dreaded “I’m done! Now, what?” that we inevitably hear until we have all of our classroom procedures set! Read on about how I use playdough and playdough mats to help make back to school run a little smoother!
Back to School! Here they are! What are they doing?
So, it’s back to school and here come your new class. They trickle in a few at a time. Some with their parents, some on their own. The students who came to open house so they know where their desk is and they are ready to go. The ones that didn’t come to open house and are a little nervous! They walk in the room and see PLAYDOUGH! Hurrah! I have a can of playdough on each desk with a fun mat with suggestions of things to make. Of course, they are also welcome to go “freestyle” and do their own creating.
Got fast finishers?
Playdough and mats are also a perfect thing for the kiddos who are fast finishers. They can play with their playdough while they are waiting for their classmates to finish up! They LOVE to play with their playdough! I usually let them keep their playdough and their mats in their desk until the third week of school. Then, they take their playdough home and I collect the mats for next years class, or to put in my Maker Space, STEM/STEAM center, or with my indoor recess stuff!
Now, of course, you want to try this in your classroom for back to school! You can download this freebie! I print both onto legal sized paper and laminate it back to back. I hope your students enjoy them as much as mine do!
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