First day back with students. Check.
Had a ton of fun with my new kids. Check.
Exhausted. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Boy, am I tired. It’s been a LOOOONNNNGGG week for me.
Well, I guess it actually started last weekend. My oldest daughter moved away to college. (Can you hear my sobs?)
That was hard. WAAAYYYY harder than I thought it would be. I’m generally not overly emotional about stuff so I didn’t anticipate the feels that I would catch when I told my baby girl it was time for her daddy and I to head back home. It took us over seven and a half hours to make a four hour ride back home. I guess neither of us were very eager to return to our home without our precious girl. Don’t get me wrong here. We have two other precious children. This was something else. This… this was like I’d abandoned my child… like I left her defenseless in a den of wolves. The university she’s at is amazing. She’s in a good program of study and she’s already making tons of new friends. At that moment though, when i left her on her own, that moment left a big piece of my heart right there.
I digress…. but it’s definitely been on my mind all week making the days seem long.
So, I’ve buried myself in my classroom to keep my mind off of missing my college girl.
While searching and planning for first day activities, I ran across the idea of the toilet paper game. A Facebook fan of Teaching with a Mountain View shared this awesome icebreaker for big kids.
I tweaked it just a little bit. To save time, since I’m departmentalized and don’t have them all day, I asked the kids to join into groups of either 2 or 3 students. This way everyone had a voice and the opportunity to share in our limited amount of time.
I enjoyed listening to their conversations and learning new things about my students.
Now, this was the perfect follow up activity to one of my absolute favorite back to school read-alouds of all time. This sassy funny bunny shows a mix of emotions as he addresses the readers long awaited appearance.
I don’t always get to read to my fourth graders like I want to so I took advantage of the freedom the first day of school brings. We had a blast!
This book gave me a good lead in for the Toilet Paper Game becuase the Bunny talks about it being so annoying to have to ait on the reader to arrive… as annoying as having toilet paper stuck to your shoe. (Yuck!)
After the Toilet Paper Game, I wanted to know even more about my students’ like and dislikes, favorites and fears. I ran across this FREE get to know you activity by Notes From the Portable. Follow her blog to get the download for yourself. I found it to be very helpful in gaining a deeper insight into what makes my new sweeties tick.
We, of course, went over expectations, rules, and procedures, too. But that’s not nearly as fun as the Bunny fussing with us about being so late and learning about friends using squares of toilet paper!
What did you do, or are you planning to do, on your first day back with students? I’d LOVE to hear your ideas!
See more to school shenanigans in the pictures below!