Along with orienting your new students to the classroom and classroom procedures, the first few days of school provide a great opportunity for some community building exercises. A few years ago we featured this fabulous board and thought it offered a great jumping off point for a collaborative project as well as classroom decoration for the first few weeks of school!
"I Am Unique" Puzzle Piece Craftivity
We love using the puzzle illustration to show students that each of them, with their different abilities, interests, and skills, have a special and important part to play in the classroom community - i.e. it takes all of the unique puzzle pieces, fit into their unique places, to create a whole picture. As a fun first day of school craftivity, provide each of your new students with a colorful card stock puzzle piece cutout, old magazines, and various graphic art materials, inviting them to use the materials to decorate their puzzle piece with pictures, words, and illustrations that describe who they are, what they like to do, etc. To extend the activity, have students select the three things they'd like to share about themselves with you and their new classmates, expounding a little bit on each one. For example, instead of simply saying, "I like to craft", have them tell you what they like to craft, etc.
The best part is, each of the individual puzzle pieces can then be fitted together to create a colorful mural for the classroom!
In This Class, You Are A SPECIAL Piece Of The Puzzle!
Here's how we would tackle a puzzle bulletin board...
- Find a puzzle template online (with the appropriate number of pieces) and use the classroom projector system to enlarge and trace the pieces onto background paper.
- Use a pencil to number the back of each piece, then cut the pieces apart.
- Once students have decorated their piece, the puzzle should be relatively easy to order and assemble using the numbers on the back.
Since your students will be doing most of the decorating, all you'll need is background paper to cover the board, a fun trimmer, and some bulletin board letters to complete the display!