Wednesday, July 27, 2016

First Day Activities with the Gingerbread Man

Well summer is officially ending and everyone is scurrying to their classrooms to prep for back to school. How do you spend your first day back at school with the kiddos? Do you spend most of the day going over rules and procedures? If you do, DON'T! Why don't you save all that nagging and boring stuff for the 2nd day of school. Okay. Okay. I know you can teach rules and procedures in a fun way and I hope you do, but why not make that 1st day fun and engaging for your new little ones.

I have been doing First Day Activities with the Gingerbread Man since my first year of teaching. I can't take credit for the whole idea. I am not even sure where this idea originally came from. I do know that a very experienced, veteran teacher who is amazing at what she does taught me about how students can create Gingerbread Man cookies, read the book and then go on a school tour in search for their precious missing cookies. This teacher was my mentor teacher and team teacher so she taught me a few tricks. I then added some cute rhymes as clues during our Gingerbread Man search and other goodies.
Then I came to Canada.... where guess what? My partner kinder teach also shared that they create G-man cookies & search for their cookies through out the school allowing the children to get to know the school. Obviously this activity has been around for years and all over different places. It's am OLDIE BUT GOODY I'd say!
So you might be wondering what I have to offer then in the First Day Activities with the Gingerbread Man. Here's what it has to offer:

  • A detailed description of each activity and how I use these in my classroom on the 1st day.
  • A Gingerbread Man recipe sheet for yourself or to provide to parents
  • A note from the Gingerbread Man that falls out of your book while you are reading it to your class letting them know that their cookies are missing.
  • Rhyming clue notes for you to read as they are posted around the school so that the children can guess where their missing G-man went.
  • A Gingerbread Man & Girl for each child to decorate using materials of your choice, as well as a strip to create their own sentence.
  • A G-Man reader.
  • A G-Man class book.
  • A G-Man hat so that their parents will ask them about it & also helps the children remember what they did on their fun-filled 1st day.
  • A First Day of School Newsletter that is editable to tell the parents all about the fun their child had.

Some years I choose to provide the children with a construction paper cut-out of a Gingerbread Man cookie to decorate instead of the white printed sheet.

Here are a few of books we read the first day of school and through out the first week that relate to our Gingerbread Man hunt.

Words cannot describe the look on each child's face once we open the oven and discover that their cookies are missing. It's pure heaven!

At last! We find our cookies in the principal's office. What better way to get to meet and know your school principal on that first day of school. :)

The children also create a self portrait on the first day. This is a wonderful keepsakes for their class portfolio that they get to bring home at the end of the year.

Just creating her Gingerbread Man hat.

I don't set rules for how children decide to decorate their Gingerbread Man. It's a free for all on the decorations and I love to see what they create! We have a lot of fun on our first day of school and I hope you do too!

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