When I first started teaching I remember feeling overwhelmed because I didn't have any resources to start with, nor did I have any resources to end with. I was doing my best just to keep my head above water and stay a day ahead of my students. Whether you are just starting out with teaching or looking to add to your teacher toolbox here is a starter pack for the beginning of your school year and an end of the year research/writing wrap-up that have both been used by me for years and years.
Both of these items are also sold separately
Beginning of the School Year Starter Kit
End of the Year Activity - The Year in Review - Research and Writing Booklet
Beginning of School Year Combo Pack
Included in this purchase is a five-pack of printable materials such as:
1. An introduction letter to parents regarding you, your class, and your background. There is a template set up for you to add to in Microsoft Word as well as a sample letter to follow/edit.
2. A five-minute timed directions test. This has always been a crowd favorite to start out the year. Students are given a set of 20 instructions to follow such as writing their name at the top of the paper, saying their name out loud, counting backwards from 10, but in the end all they had to do was what is says to do on the last step of the directions. Kids love it!
3. A pass for one free late assignment. This is something I have given to students as a reward after a certain period of time during the quarter if they have turned all of their work in. I show it to them the first day of school and then let them know the date when it is available to them. It gives them something to strive toward.
4. A student information form. I copy this onto the back of the Parent Letter for students to take home on the first day of school and then return to me the next day. This gives me their parent contact information as well as a little background about them as my student such as the likes and dislikes, goals for the year, health concerns, etc.
5. A "This is Who I Am" worksheet for students to fill in about themselves as well as include a photo of themselves. These get displayed in my room so other students can learn about each other. Included are things such as their nickname, favorite bands, favorite movies, and a map of the USA that they color in the states they've been to. Any little insight into their lives at the beginning of the year help me get to know them better as well as them getting to know each other better too.
End of the Year "The Year in Review" Activity
Looking for a way to keep your students engaged as the year comes to a close? I use this research activity to do just that and the kids really enjoy it! I have included this as a .pdf and as an MS Word document so you can alter it to meet your classroom needs.
Using a variety of sources such as newspapers, magazines, CNN Student News online archive videos, and other news sources online students conduct a guided research project based on major news stories from the local, state, national, and world level. They can include stories from sports, entertainment, and politics that had a big impact on the world.
When students are done what they will have completed are pages for a booklet they can make that they can bind together in whatever way they create (staples, string, twine, etc.). They can use the template provided (this requires you saving the document so students can have access to it and then save it to their own flash drive or personal folders on your school network) or they can come up with a style all their own if you allow it.
You can either give the completed booklets back to students when they are done or you can keep them for years to come to show your future students. Kids are a little more willing to be creative when they know that they'll be part of your classroom library of history.
Check out some other items that I have that are fun to use in the beginning of the year
The Stock Market Investing Contest - Fun Class Competition!
50 States Class Competition
Current Events Article Assignment
Family Values Bundle - 20 Questions, Defining Roles, and Parent-Teenager Relationship Assessment
What Are Your Values? - Core Values Activity
Check out some of my other research-related activities that will engage your students
Career Research Packet
Famous Inventors and Their Inventions Presentation
Newspaper in Education - 7 Different Activities
The Cause and Effect of the Greatest Events or Inventions from 1950-1999 Project
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