August 14, 2014

First Day of School Activity: Student Growth Chart

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!


Long, long ago... in the early baby days of my Pinterest, 4 years ago (it seriously seems longer- what did I do before this lovely little site?!)... I pinned this diy ruler growth chart. It sat on my board for two-and-a-half long years. Waiting. Then one day, I was hit by a rare burst of motivation and I decided that (dang it!) I was going to actually do something from Pinterest instead of just pinning things all day long!

So I made a ruler to hang on my kid's wall.

And immediately wished I had done it 2 years earlier 'cuz it turned out so stinkin' cute!

One tip: draw- or trace- the numbers on with a pencil, then fill in with a sharpie. Super simple.

So, you all are probably wondering what this has to do with a first day of school activity. Ready for the mind-blowing transition....

Create a student growth chart.

On the first day of school, I would measure each of my students on a chart on the wall. Then, on the last day, we'd check to see how tall they had grown. It was simple, quick, and fun- the perfect first day of school activity to break the ice.

Not only was it a great lesson in measurement, but it was just plain fun to see their excitement over having grown a few inches that year. 

You could even take it one step further and teach a lesson on graphing and charting with each student's height. I didn't. Something to do with having 153 first day things to do in 6 hours , but ya could ;)

Your growth chart doesn't have to be a wooden one like the one above (though wouldn't that be SO cool?!) 

There are a bunch of fun classroom-friendly ones here and here and here you could use instead. I just ended up using sentence strips to make mine and put up a new one each year for the incoming class. I'd usually leave last year's up with my current year because kids always came back to visit those first few years and loved seeing how much they grown since they were 'little.' So funny!

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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