August 9, 2013

First Day of School Activities: Before & After Pictures

One of the best parts about our job is that 'fresh start' feeling that always comes with the beginning of a new school year. Regardless of how we ended the previous year, this is our opportunity to set a positive tone in our rooms. During the series, I will be sharing a few fun ideas to make the first day of school a success! Be sure to subscribe to my feed so you don't miss any of them!

Before & After Pictures
There's nothing more fun that seeing before and after pictures! Why not take this idea and use it with your students? 

Here's how this works:
  • Choose a place to take the picture. A bulletin board or classroom library makes a nice location. You could even place them next to something that shows how tall they are (a file cabinet, a large stuffed animal, etc). 
  • Have each student get their picture taken on the first day of school. You may want to do this when they first walk through the door (though that can be a bit of a crazy time), during some quiet seat work, or have your classroom aide or parent helper pull a few students at a time during another activity. 
  • Save these pictures in a folder on your computer. During the last week of school, take another set of pictures, preferably in the same location. Save the new pictures in the same folder on your computer. Arrange the pictures in the folder so that each student's before and after pictures are back-to-back. On the last day of school, have a slide show by clicking through the pictures in the folder, displaying them on your television or electronic board.
  • For the slightly more tech savvy: Use these pictures to make a PowerPoint slideshow, set to music. You could also use any other pictures you have taken throughout the day. 
***This activity is a GREAT way to keep the last-day-of-school adrenaline under control. Those last 15 minutes before the buses are called can by slightly chaotic as you try to control 20 super-excited kids. When bags are packed, have all the students come sit in front of the TV or the board, turn the lights off, and enjoy a silly look back at the year. 

Check out more First Day of School Activities:

The Teacher Test Game

Paper Bag Show-and-Tell (& Writing Project)
Before & After Pictures
Monster Adjectives
Make Birthday Posters

What's your favorite first day of school activity?

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