New School Year, New Start, New Teamie!

We are into our second week of school and over all it's been a great start!!!
My only complaint....not enough time or energy to get stuff done!!!!!  Like blog, Pinterest, FB, Instagram, house stuff, more classroom  I'm sure it will all chill out soon as I get back into the routine!
Since I know there are some of you still not in school, I wanted to share a great beginning of the school year activity we did.  Let me first start with, THIS WAS NOT MY IDEA....I have a new teammate this year and she is also my roommate!!!!  Love having a neighbor to chat with, bounce things off of, share, get the idea:) 
My only part in this plan was showing her these books:
I LOVE Maria Dismondy!!!  If you don't know who that is, RUN to her website HERE and check her out.  I have had the honor to be part of some of her blog tours and just love her books.....on her website, it says "Books that make a difference" and that can't be more true! 
These books, and her others...we have read these and The Potato Chip Champ and Pink Tiara Cookies for Three, have been a great and fresh way to start off the new year:) 
I love the traditional First Day Jitters, Miss Nelson is Missing, and more but by the time the kids get to me, they have usually heard them all.  These, most had not so it was wonderful:)
My teamie's tied Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun to a great BOY activity:)  An I Am collage.  After doing the read aloud, we did 2 thinking maps on the 2 main characters and brainstormed words that described those characters.  We also talked about why they felt the "mean" character acted the way he did.  Then each of the students made their own circle map, filling it with words that describe them.
 M teamie has seen projects like this and they were on canvas....that was a little costly, so we used cardstock and it worked great.  The kids colored the cardstock....preferably covering the whole thing.  Next the kiddos got to cut up magazines to make words that are on their circle maps that describe them....or their likes.....they could also use pics:)  Some of the kids even brought in pics from home.    Then they glued on their pics, letters, and words, with I AM at the top:)
Here are a couple close up:)  The notecard on the bottom is a little letter they wrote to themselves as a kind of "pep" talk for their new school year.  They are really precious:)
They look awesome hung in the hall:)
These would also be a great getting to know you....the kids can present them in front of the class and explain their words:)  We didn't do that.....I have run out of time every day so far.....EEK!  But we still may do it.  They love reading them in the hall and are quite proud of their creations:)
I promise to get my act together and my schedule and my fam's schedule on track so I can blog more:)  (and read blogs.....I miss that sooooo much but only get to read a few here and there)
New teamie also has a great idea that ties The Juice Box Bully and making our classroom mission statements.  Will be blogging about that soon:)
If you haven't read these books, you really need to check them out:)  If you have, I hope this activity is a fun new idea you can use:)  Here are links to Maria:


  1. Wow! Your new teammate sounds awesome! Lucky you! Bet she's just as excited to be working with you as well! ;)

  2. Great idea, Tara-Dear!
    Thanks for reminding me to add these books to my back-to-school collection... and I love seeing the collages adorning the hallway!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. What a great idea! I'm sure the students love having their creative works showcasing their likes and personalities on display! ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

  4. Just went and ordered "Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun." Thanks for the great activity!

  5. I love this idea- definitely a great way to let the kids show their creativity right away, get to know each other, and such a fun activity to start off the year. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  6. Thanks for sharing Tara! I love those B&W Tags! I have some B&W borders and things in my room, too! Great patterns and pops of color! Sounds like you're off to a great start!

    Journey of a Beginning Teacher

  7. I started the year with these books too!

  8. I LOVE Maria's books along with Julia Cook's books. They are my favorites. Great activity !

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Thanks for this recommendation! I'm always looking for good beginning of the year anti-bullying books. I started today. I chose to read One by Kathryn Otoshi. It was a really great discussion starter.

    4th Grade Blatherings

  11. We never have enough time at the start of the school year! I love the Juice Box Bully too!

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  12. What a wonderful activity for the book! I am sure your kids enjoyed making them. Hope things settle down for you soon ;)
    Fun in Room 4B

  13. I am going to start with "The Name Jar" because my kids are very diverse in ethnicity and I have a new girl this year from another country. Its about a give that is shy about her name because it isn't "American" and that process of acceptance to pride.

    Ms. Chae Charges In

  14. What a cute activity! I will have to get my hands on a copy of this book. My students last year enjoyed The Juice Box Bully. Thanks for sharing.

    Foreman Teaches

  15. LOVE all of these ideas!! I was planning on reading The Juice Box Bully aloud to my class next week! I can't wait to see what you guys do with it :) I am definitely picking up Spaghetti in a Hot Dog bun tonight to do for this activity! Thank you :)


  16. Love, Love, LOVE this! Just got my books in and I am planning on teaching this for our Values/bullyproofing class. Thank you for the fabulous idea.


Back to Top