This back-to-school banner is a great way to get to know your students, their ability to write their name, to follow directions, to draw a picture of their family, to write their age, to draw a picture(s) of what they like, to informally assess their coloring abilities, and to informally assess their cutting abilities. The directions are simple - draw, decorate & cut. An example is provided in color and black and white, along with directions if you wanted to post it for your class.
Their personal flags can be presented to the class as a means for each one to get to know each other better. They are great conversation starters.
Then they can be hung up so your class will now include student-centered decorations. You can laminate their work, so it lasts longer. You can also print this on color paper if you have a theme in your room. I printed mine on white card stock and let my students decorate it so they could show off their personal style.
You can add this to their student portfolio, You can also repeat this project at the very end of the year to see the changes in their personal likes and skill growth. This will provide you with a direct comparison.
Your students can decorate with much more than just crayons. You can use stickers, markers, colored pencils, stamps, and even add some glitter (after laminating).
I have done this with my own students, clipped their work to twine with colored clothes pins. It was a colorful addition to our classroom and the kids loved it! They enjoyed showing their friends who they drew in their family and see what they have in common. It truly helped some kids open up to one another.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have with my students.