Name Ball - Blow up a beach ball and write the children's names on it with a permanent marker. Have the children sit on the floor in a circle. Roll the ball to a child. Encourage that child to identify the name on the top of the ball, and then roll the ball to that friend. The game continues as children read each other's names.

Class Book - Make a "Welcome to (Teacher's Name)'s Room" book.

Take a picture of each child.
Put their picture on the top of the page. Have them complete the following information:
Hi, my name is _______.
My favorite color is _________.
My favorite food is __________.
My pet is a _________.
My favorite book is _________.
My favorite song is _________.
I am special because __________________.
Put the children's pages together to make a book. Let one child take the book home each evening and share it with their families.

"Believe It or Not, I Was Once a Kindergartener, First Grader, etc."
Send home a letter asking each parent to think of something they remember about being in kindergarten, first grade, etc.
Ask them to draw a picture and write a short story about their experience.
Put the pages together to make a book for your classroom library.

School Song - To help children learn the name of their school, principal, teacher, etc. teach them this song to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus."

The name of my school is (school name), (school name), (school name).
The name of my school is (school name). That's the name of my school.

The name of my teacher is...
The name of my principal is...

Story Bottle - This bottle is a great way to encourage oral language and gather base line data on children's language development.

Get a plastic bottle or jar and fill it with 5 to 7 interesting little toys or objects.
(If you'll look in your desk drawer, you'll find everything you need!)
Screw the lid on.
Let children take the bottle and make up a story incorporating the objects in the bottle.
Older children could write a story using the objects in the bottle.
You could also pass the bottle around for a group story where each child contributes a sentence.

Graphs - Get to know each other and develop math skills by creating class graphs.
You might make a graph of how children get to school, the number of brothers and sisters they have, pets, favorite pizza topping, and so forth.

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