Five For Friday - First Week Back To School! - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Five For Friday - First Week Back To School!

Whew!! What is it about the first week? I am SO TIRED. I can't even describe to you the feeling, but if you are a teacher reading this, you know. I don't have to try. I am soooo glad it's Friday! Time to share my week with the Doodlebugs Linky!
Wednesday was our first day. I like to do a lot of procedures, team/community building, and just FUN STUFF on the first day- no routine really the first day. I did this activity last year, and had to do it again this year. It's a great way to show the kiddos why I differentiate in the classroom...but also for them to share something about themselves with the class, and it ends up being pretty funny!
I have the students think of a time they got hurt in their life, and share it with the class... but no matter where they got hurt, or to what extreme, I give them a band-aid on their elbow.

"I flipped over my handlebars and scraped up my face."

"Oh no! You're face? That's terrible! Well, let me see your elbow!" {apply band-aid}

By the 8th person, they were all laughing, saying, "let me see your elbow" with me, even though they had no clue why. :) It was good that they all said it WITH me, because it will drive the point home later...

After everyone had a band-aid, I asked the students who had a "boo-boo" that the band-aid would have actually helped to come up to the front of the room. The 5 you see in the picture came up. I asked the class if the band-aid I gave the others helped. Of course, they said no. So then I asked, well what if I gave everyone the same activity to do, even if they didn't need the practice, or the help? They said that wouldn't be good!! I told them if they asked me why so-and-so was doing this activity but they had to do that activity, I would tell them to let me see their elbow. :) I think they totally got it!
I like to have my students help establish my class rules and norms. To prepare them for this, one of the books I read is Do Unto Otters. I read this to them yesterday.
It's also on BookFlix which is really fun, but I forgot until after I read it. :( Anyways, we talk about "the golden rule" and what it means after reading it, and then they tell me ways we can "do unto others."
I follow it the next day (today) with the book, The Golden Rule. This is a really neat book that shares the golden rule in various religions and cultures. My school is VERY diverse, so it's a great way to also talk about how there are lots of differences in our room, but that doesn't mean we can't believe the same thing.
From here, we create our class norms. I encourage them to think about what they want their classroom to be- the climate and community more than the "rules." I haven't finished creating our poster, so I'll have to share it another day, but they did a great job coming up with their norms!
 Another activity we did today was called, "Save Fred!" Click the link to see the "long version." The short version: students must get a gummy lifesaver from under a cup and put it around a gummy worm without touching the worm or the gummy saver with their fingers. They may only use 4 paper clips (and mine were in groups of 4, so each person had one). The "cup" is the worm's boat that has been knocked over by a big gust of wind- so the desk is the "sea" and Fred the Worm cannot fall into the sea more than once or he drowns. They had a lot of fun!! My class wasn't as successful as other classes- only 3 of my 6 groups were able to do it... and now I can tell you who will NEVER work together in a group again! LOL!!
Just as promised in this post, my first hall display is super cute!! I bought some over-sized glasses at the dollar store and took pictures of my kids in them, starting on Meet Your Teacher Day (last Friday) and then I got the rest the first day. The students set goals for themselves for their 4th grade year and wrote them on the sunglasses, then cut out the blank side and put their picture behind it. :)

They had a lot of fun with it!
Soooo #5 is your freebie! :) Grab the sunglasses activity for free! I made it for 2nd-6th grade! :) Please be kind and leave feedback! Thank you!!
Everyone enjoy your weekend!! :)


  1. Love the "Save Fred" activity! Going to have to add that one to my plans :)
    Still can't believe you are back with students already!

    I {Heart} Recess

  2. I wish I was starting again withe a new class! I think I will have to save this post and refer back to it in February!! Thanks for sharing!!

    The E-Z Class

  3. I love the differentiation activity! What a GREAT way to tell kids about it! LOVE!

  4. Definitely going to try the Band-Aid activity, especially since I will have a group working well below grade level this year. Great idea!

  5. What fun and new activities to try! I am sorry your summer is over but back to school is so much fun! Hopefully you will rest up this weekend and be ready to hit it hard come Monday! Thanks for the sunglasses- love that it has lines to write, I only had a blank one before!

  6. We 'saved Fred' last year and my kids loved it! It was interesting to see how the groups worked out the problem-some were quick and some were slow! We we definitely save Fred again...maybe he should stay out of the ocean! ;)

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  7. Your 5 for Friday activities are great. Loved the band-aid activity :o) The "Saving Fred" project sounds so stinkin' cute - I absolutely must try it this year! Hope you can rest up this weekend - sounds like you deserve it!

  8. LOVE the band-aid lesson! I've done that in the past too when I've had classes that really complained about it.
    Solid example! Glad you had a good week!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  9. Congrats on your first week! Now I know of more great activities to do with my kiddos! Save Fred! I lurve it <3

    I also have the band-aid lesson & read Do Unto Otters since my favorite animal is the otter. I have a ton of stuffed animal otters & I bring in one, named Oswald with a movable head, who watches to make sure we're doing unto "others" as in the book ;) The kids love it, I have them introduce Oswald to their parents during Open House in Sept. They have to tell their parents what Oswald does :)

    Tales From Two 2nd Grade Classrooms

  10. Thanks so much for sharing the sunglasses activity! Can't wait to try that with my fourth graders!

    Cute in the Classroom

  11. You just previewed my first week for me...I also do #1 & #3! Great minds, right??

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  12. I love Do Unto Otters! It's such a cute book! I also like the sunglasses idea! Plus, who wouldn't want to wear some awesome HUGE sunglasses ;)

    Looks like a great week!
    My Shoe String Life
    Follow Me on Bloglovin'

  13. Oh it all! I was pinning away, and the fact that you gave a freebie is just fabulous! Thanks, as always, for being so generous :) Glad you had a great first week!

    Fluent in Fourth

  14. Oh it all! I was pinning away, and the fact that you gave a freebie is just fabulous! Thanks, as always, for being so generous :) Glad you had a great first week!

    Fluent in Fourth

  15. It looks like you guys had tons of fun this first week back! Just added "Do Unto Otters" to my back to school reads-and reserved it from my local library! Your worm activity looks like so much fun too! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas which is making my wheels turn thinking about the first week... as last week is my final week of summer!

    Get lots of rest this weekend! :)

    Learning to the Core

  16. Haha. I thought I was smart when I "invented" the band-aid lesson 5 or 6 years ago. Turns out people everywhere use it or a variance of it! I saw it in a book a year or so ago and couldn't believe it already existed! I love the activity and do it every year because I really think it drives the point home. It's great to just be able to say, "Remember the band-aids?" when a kid questions why I'm spending more time with other kids during reading or when they have to take a project a step further than another kid.

    Glad to hear your first week was a success! I'm heading back to my classroom to try and set up next week!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason
    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  17. I loved all your ideas, but I'm especially love the little boy's handwriting. He can come transfer to my school! I'm going to have to try Save Fred with my kiddos for sure! The pictures make me want to go out and buy gummy worms in the middle of the night!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  18. I loved the Save Fred activity. I think I might have to do it. My students would love it.I was planning on doing the band-aid activity. I too do that to make a point about meeting everyones needs. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a great week!

    Blessings of a Teacher

  19. I love the book Do Unto Otters and since our school mascot is the otter, it's even more perfect! I use it every year!


  20. Thanks for the great activities! Love your blog!

    Cowgills Corner

  21. All wonderful ideas! I'm definitely adding the band-aid and Save Fred activities to my first week plans! Okay, maybe my second week plans as I think I've already overplanned for the first!


  22. Your "Save Fred" activity is so GREAT!! How fun!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  23. I am so doing the "Save Fred" activity! Thanks so much for such a great idea!!

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

  24. LOVE the elbow idea AND saving Fred! How cute! Looks like your first few days back went well.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
    Follow me on Bloglovin!

  25. Wow!! I love all your ideas for the first week! I plan to buy and read both of those books you recommend and do the freebie activity with the glasses! Thank you sooo much for your ideas!

  26. Great post!!!! I'm going to try it all!!!. Thanks for making my first week easier and fun!


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