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Back To School Misc. Ideas & Links


First Day Stories

How did your students feel about the first day of school?  Find out by sending
 a couple of blank sheets of paper and crayons home with each child.  Ask parents
 to record their children's comments about the first day of school and then help them
 illustrate their papers.  Once the stories are returned to school, tuck them away for
 safekeeping.  At the end of the year, you'll have all of the information you need
 for a fantastic memory book project.


Back to School Name Tags

Cut shapes from construction paper or purchase shape
 note pads to create name tags for your children.

On their name tags write children's names, their parent's names, and children's
 birth dates.  Laminate all tags so they can be reused.  Write information with a
 wipe-off marker or crayon.  These tags can be placed on bulletin boards or on a
 section of the wall.  They may also be left up all year.  Add the children's and
 parent's pics and it becomes an appropriate first week of school bulletin board.


Nifty Name Tags

Make colorful tags for desks or table tops.  Use a permanent marker
 to write each child's name on brightly colored Con-Tact paper. For an
 interesting effect, cut the nametags with pinking shears.


Class Book

Make the cover in the shape of a school house. Title of the book is The First Day
 of School. Each child has a book page in the shape of a school with the frame
 "Today is the first day of School , I want to learn all about _____" Share each
 page before you put it in the book. Use the back page as a comment page. As
 each child brings the book home their mom or dad can write a comment on the back.


Classy Photo Album

It's a new school year and what better way to familiarize family members
 with their children's school friends than through  a photo album.  Simply label
 a photo of each child; then place it in a small photo album.  Send the album
 home until each child has had a chance to share with his family members. 


Magnificent Memory Jar

Decorate and label a large plastic jar.  Then, as the school year progresses,
 record onto slips of paper cute quotes, responses, or memorable events your
 little ones share.  Place the slips of paper in your memory jar.  During the final
 week of school or during a graduation ceremony, share memories from the jar.


Class Rules

Have your class help write your class rules (of course, you will need to guide them a bit).
  Once you do that, have each child trace their hand print on colored paper. Glue them
 around the rule chart. Explain that this is the way we "sign" a pledge to follow the rules.


Parent Survival Kit

As parents leave their little ones at school on the first day, hand each one a sweet parting
 gift.  To make each gift, label a small paper bag "Survival Kit."  Inside the bag put some
 Hershey's Hugs and Kisses candies along with a small travel pack of tissues. 


Quick and Easy Attendance

Taking attendance has seasonal flair with this eye-catching chart.
 To make the chart, label a sheet of poster board with the title and
 directions as shown; then mount it on a bulletin board. Insert
 rows of pushpins (one pin for each student). Each month make
 a set of seasonal nametags for your students (Sept.--apples,
 Oct.--pumpkins, Nov.--turkeys, Dec.--Christmas trees, etc).
 Punch a hole in the top of each nametag using a hole puncher.
 Suspend each nametag from a pushpin. When students
 enter the room each day, they remove their nametags
 and place them in a box in a designated location. At a glance
you can see the names of the students who are absent. Have a
 child return the nametags to the chart at the end of each day.


No More Jitters

Ease your youngsters' first-day anxieties with a cuddly class mascot!
 Introduce a stuffed animal to your class and pretend that he is
 whispering in your ear. Reassure him that school is a fun, safe
 place to be and that the children are friendly and kind. Explain to
 students that your friend is feeling shy and nervous about starting
 preschool. After students offer encouraging words and discuss their own
 concerns and fears, have your mascot guide them through each step of
 the day. It won't be long before your little ones feel relaxed and confident about school!


Class Mascot

Calm children's fears by using a class mascot as a welcoming tool.
 Choose a colorful stuffed animal to be your class's very special friend.
 Hold the mascot as you greet youngsters on that very important day.
 Seeing you with a stuffed animal is sure to create a relaxed, comfortable
 atmosphere to help coax even the most reluctant students into your classroom.
Since creating a sense of ownership helps to foster feelings of security, allow your
youngsters to cooperatively name the class mascot.  Once a name has been chosen,
have your new friend introduce you and each of the youngsters to the class.  Help
foster positive home school relationships by giving each child the opportunity to take
the mascot home for a weekend.  Encourage each child's acceptance of responsibility
by having her pack a bag for the mascot that includes any necessary  items (such as
a toothbrush, a blanket, and a book) and a prepared travel log. Instruct the child to
 complete an entry in the travel log by illustrating an event that took place, with the
mascot, during the weekend.  Include a note in the travel log asking parents or
caregivers to participate by recording youngsters' dictation or adding some of their own
original writing.  On Monday morning, have the child share all about his/her weekend
adventures with the mascot.


Getting to Know The Teacher Box

Fill a box up with things that tell about you sit on the rug and share them with the class.


Beginning- and End-of-the-Year Photos

Be sure to bring your camera to photograph each child at the beginning of the
 school year. Collect the pictures for safekeeping and as the end of the year approaches,
 take another photograph. Then present each child with both pictures
 on the last day of school to let her see how much she has grown.


Chalk In A Sock

If your children enjoy using small chalkboards, try this tip for keeping chalk handy.
  Buy a few white children's socks and place a stick of chalk in each one.
  Place the socks in a basket near the chalkboards.  The socks not
 only provide storage for the chalk but they also double as erasers!


Tips for Parents

Send these tips home to help parents enrich their child's education.

Talk to your child about going to preschool/school.
Talk about what he/she will learn there.
Talk about why we go there.
Read to your child daily.
Play learning games with your child.
Reinforce classroom, safety, and bus rules at home with your child.
Offer to volunteer and share ideas with your child's teacher(s).
Ask teacher to share nutritional snack recipes with you.


Hang It Up

If you have a difficult time keeping displays on brick or concrete walls,
 then here's a tip for you.  Try putting up your posters, charts,
 and wall decorations with adhesive magnetic tape.  Small pieces of magnetic
 tape attached to the wall and the back of a decoration will hold displays securely.


Welcome Bags

Place the items described below in a brown lunch bag and include this handout:
The items in this bag have special meaning:
The cotton ball is to remind you that this room is full of kind words and warm feelings.
The chocolate kiss is to comfort you when you are feeling sad.
The tissue is to remind you to help dry someone's tears.
The sticker is to remind you that we all stick together and help each other.
The star is to remind you to shine and always try your best.
The gold thread is to remind you that friendship ties our hearts together.
The rubber band is to remind you to hug someone.
The penny is to remind you that you are valuable and special.
The toothpick is to remind you to "pick out" the good qualities in your classmates.
The bandage is to heal hurt feelings in your friends and in yourself.
The eraser is to remind you that we all make mistakes, and that is O.K.
The life saver is to remind you that you can come to me if you need someone to talk to.


Back To School Gift

I often give my students a little gift on the first day of school.
 This year I am making door knob hangers (Wal-mart) with the
 child's name printed on with a paint pen. I will add a theme-related
 design such as a bear or an apple. I cover the wood with a coat
 of glue and water (or Modge Podge) before I paint it because it is
 so porous. I write the name in green, the apple is red and the
 dots around the edges are green and red. I put the date on the back.

You could also do this on the white or cream bookmarks at Wal-mart and add a tassel.


Take Home Bags

All communication from the school goes in this bag and all
 communication from home comes back to school in this bag.

Materials Needed:
1 ziploc type bag per child

At the beginning of the year I assign one bag to each child.  On it I write:
  Take Home Bag; the child's name and Please return every school day!
  I then inform the parents that I will send everything home in this bag:.
letters from me or the school; Scholastic book order forms; trip permission
 sheets; monthly calendars; work from school and library books, if they fit.
 I then ask that they send all their notes, milk money, book orders, etc.,
 to school in this bag.  This way I know that the parents have received
 everything I've sent home, and it's not lost in their child's backpack.
 Parents also know that I've received their notes and items.  Parents love it
and I do too, because we all know where to look for any form of communication.

I use these bags in my Junior Kindergarten class
 but you could use it with younger or older students.


Job Chart Ideas

Show toddlers and preschool children their job of the week with these ideas.


Two simple ideas for job charts for 2 year olds employ a very familiar concept.
I only have 4 jobs in my classroom.  I have made a kite for each job, using
 words and pictures to describe the job.  I have written the name of each
 child on the 'bow' that is tied to the kite tail to help it fly.  Now each child
 knows their job. I have also set up mailboxes, similar to those found at the
 end of a driveway, with the name and a picture of each job.  Each child's name is
 on an   envelope that I can place in the mailbox as a way to show who has the job.


Modeling Class Rules

2 puppets, similar, but not the same.

Each year, I use my orange and purple hairy puppets to model "good choices".  Usually,
 purple is the one who makes the "not so good "choices!  This  is fun, and it works great with
 the 4 and 5 years old youngsters.  I start talking with the puppets and they are talking to
 each other.  For example, playing with others.  Orange will be playing with some of the
 students and Purple will come in and pull on one of the students shirts, arm, etc. trying to
 play.  I then stop and I start talking as myself asking if that was a good choice, etc.  It's a
 riot and the kids do offer better choices and we model the better choice. I often catch the
 students playing with the puppets during free choice, making good and not so good choices!


Center Ideas

As the children are getting acquainted with each other and with the classroom, try some
of the following suggestions to make their introductions to learning centers easier.

Have only a few toys and educational items out in each learning center so children
won't be overwhelmed.  Gradually add more and rotate items as the year progresses.

Have the classroom arranged attractively.

Have all displays at the children's eye level, if possible.  When setting up
 your room, get on your knees and see the room from the child's perspective.

The room should be arranged so you can see all areas
 of the classroom where the children will be interacting.

Clearly mark each learning center with the number of children who may enter at one time.

All materials and activities should be placed on a low
 shelf where they can be easily reached by the children.

Have fire exits clearly marked with diagrams that children will understand.
  Put up a list of classroom and safety rules.  Safety posters will help here.


Name Tag for Desk or Table

This self esteem preschool activity promotes name recognition
 and also helps children quickly find their desk or table.

Polaroid film (one per child),
white paper,
crayons or markers,
contact paper,
glue or tape.

I let the kids color and decorate their picture. Put the child's name at
 the top in big letters. Take a picture of each child (waving, thumbs up or just
 acting goofy). Glue or tape the child's picture underneath their name.
 Apply to a clean dry surface and cover with clear contact paper.
They will say. "Hey, that's me" and smile!


That's My Name

Have each child use crayons, stamps, or stickers to decorate a personalized card.
  Then use the cards for daily attendance.  To do this, hold up one card at a time and
 prompt (as necessary) the child whose name is showing to respond, "Here!" When
 each child can recognize his first name, make new cards showing students' full names.


First Day Tips

On the first day of school, I have a special Beary Good Work folder on each
 student's desk or table, along with a new box of crayons and a basket with
 pencils, an eraser, a glue stick, and a pair of Fiskars for Kids.  I also have books,
 puzzles, and pattern blocks available for the children to choose from. This gives
 me time to talk with the parents and find out any important or special information about
 their child.  I usually wait at least 15 minutes after the bell rings before I bring the children
 together on the story floor, because we always have latecomers the first few days of school.


A+ Apple Jar

Turn a little wooden pumpkin box into this cute apple for your teacher.
 It's perfect for storing thumbtacks or paper clips, and it can also be used as a
 paperweight. It's simple to paint, with minimum adult supervision. Cost is approx. $3.00


Classroom Helper Ideas

Line Leader
first in line when class lines
 up to leave the classroom

Door Holder
holds door as the rest of
classmates passes through
when leaving classroom

Plant Waterer
waters all the plants
 in the classroom

Lunch Count Helper
helps count students for
lunch so server knows
how much to prepare

Calendar Helper
places calendar number on
calendar chart and tells
class what day it is

Paper Passer
passes out papers to
each child in class

Computer Duster
dust the computer

Class Pet Feeder
in charge of feeding
 the class pet(s)

Floor Sweeper
sweeps floor after messy
activities and meal times

Teacher Helper
helps teacher with little odds
and ends jobs in classroom

Pledge Helper
holds the flag and begins
 the Pledge of Allegiance

Nap Time Helper
assists teacher in patting
 backs at naptime.

Table Checker
checks to see that chairs
are pushed in,  pencils/papers
are straight before we leave


Center Checker
checks centers to make sure
they are properly cleaned
 up at the end of centers

Weather Person
responsible for observing
weather and recording
 it on weather graph


Bookshelf Keeper
makes sure classroom library
books are put away
properly, spines out

Errand Buddys
runs things to office, notes
 to other teachers, etc....
they must travel as a pair


Table Cleaner
cleans tables for snacks,
and after messy art projects


 responsible for closing
 doors behind us and is last in line

Shelf Straightener
straightens puzzle shelves and manipulative shelves


More Classroom Helper Ideas

The classroom helper jobs that help me the most and surprisingly the kids
 like to have are my "center captains".  Each center has a captain, like
 Block center captain, writing center captain, etc. and those kids are
responsible for making sure the centers are cleaned up the way I want them.
  The kids who were playing there help, or if I notice that a center needs  attention,
I will ask for that captain to get some helpers and clean it up.   They take great
 pride in it, it helps make them responsible for OUR  classroom and I don't have
to spend alot of time policing it as the year goes on, and things
generally stay neat, like I like them!!!:)


Call Ahead

A quick phone call made to each child before the first day of school does wonders
 for easing back to school worries.  During your brief conversation tell the child how
 excited you are to have him in your class.  Also tell him what you'll be wearing
 when he sees you for the first time, so he can spot you right away.
  This is sure to be a phone call your preschoolers won't forget.




(Please let me know if any of these links do not work! THANKS!)

Pre-K Fun Back To School Quilt Rack

Back To School Ideas at Teaching Heart

Back To School Ideas at Kinder Korner

Back To School Activities at Enchanted Learning

Back To School at ABC Teach

Back To School at Mrs. Petersen's Preschool Page

Back To School at Child's Play

Back To School Ideas at Step By Step Child Care

Back To School Ideas at KinderKorner

Back To School Ideas at Alphabet Soup

Back To School at the Virtual Vine

Welcome to School at Mrs. Pohlmeyer's Kinder Page

Back To School Ideas at Mail Just For Me

Back To School Activities at Childfun

Back To School at Preschool

Back To School at the Teacher's Corner

Going Back To School at

Back To School Activities at Gayle's Preschool Rainbow

Back To School Survival Kit

Back To School Ideas at Hummingbird Educational Resources

Back To School Ideas at Teacher Vision

Back To School at Inside the Nook

Back To School Printables at Billy Bear 4 Kids

Back To School Freebies at Tammy's Tidbits

Back To School Craft Activities at DLTK's

More Back To School Craft Activities at DLTK's

The First Day Of School at The Learning Leap

More Great Back To School Ideas for Teachers

Back To School Crafts at Home School Zone

Back To School Ideas at First School

School Days at Crafts For Kids

Back To School With Brown Bear

Back To School Resources 4 Teachers

Back To School Crafts at Family Fun

Back To Preschool Theme Ideas

Back To School Crafts at Kids Domain

Educational Crafts at Kids Domain

Back To School at Mrs. Williamson's

Back to School Arts & Craft Ideas at IVillage

Back To School Printables at

Back To School Crafts at Making Friends

School Bus Activity Sheet

Back To School Writing Paper

Time For School Mini Book





What is the role of the teacher?

Author unknown

The early childhood teacher holds several roles.

The teacher must love all of her children and treat them
 as equal but special individuals, thus she is a mother.

The teacher must ask thought provoking questions and
 encourage exploration and investigation, thus she is a scientist.

The teacher must sing loud and proud, even if
 she can not carry a tune, thus she is a musician.

The teacher must encourage children to use their
 words and talk out their feelings, thus she is a mediator.

The teacher must run, hop, jump, skip, and
 tumble with the children, thus she is a gymnast.

The teacher must share accounts of far away lands
 and imaginary people, thus she is a storyteller.

The teacher must bandage scraped knees
 and kiss "ouchies", thus she is a nurse.

The teacher must give words of encouragement, louder and
 stronger than anyone thought possible, thus she is a cheerleader.

The teacher must listen with open ears
 and an empathetic heart, thus she is a friend.

The teacher does not entertain, dictate, police, referee, lecture,
 demolish, or judge.  The teacher is a facilitator, enabler, questioner,
 encourager, organizer, nurturer, backer, advocator, and supporter.

The early childhood teacher holds several roles,
 each different in action, but equal in importance.

To teach is to touch a life. And that is what the most important role of the teacher is.


Top Ten Reasons To Become A Preschool or ECE Teacher

1. Cute little children, cute little ...paycheck.
2. Confidence that you will never, ever forget how to count to ten.
3. Attention Span ... do they have one?
4. Shoes that untie themselves.
5. Get to sing your favorite songs over, and over, and over.
6. With all this bending over, who needs aerobics?
7. Play, play, play.
8. Classroom art proudly displayed in kitchen galleries.
9. Small hands ... LARGE CRAYONS.
10. You alone make little ones count.









Pre-K Fun Theme Pages are for educational reference only! 
No copyright infringement is intended.
I do not claim any of these as my own ideas.  
They are shared from friends and fellow group members.  
Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


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