At the beginning of the year we ask the parents of the children to bring in some of the children’s favorite things (i.e. crayons, mini cars). Then the teacher can hot glue these items on a wreath…you can get these at any craft store or at Wal-Mart. Then we used felt letters to spell the child’s name. We hung these up around the classroom. The families enjoyed looking at all of them!
I work with 4 and 5 year olds. They love to talk about themselves, so I make “Bio Poems”, which are like little informational write ups on them. I ask them about where they live, who they love, what scares them, what they wish to be one day, what makes them so special and one very important thing they want to say to the world. They love this and it makes them feel very important to see it hanging on our “bio board”. They draw a picture of themselves to be hung next to this. Parents love this. I tend to keep these and show them at the first parent conference, do another before the second conference and give both the parents then. It’s always a keeper!
We send home a blank book that we call “All About Me.” Inside it, we paste a question or statement on the bottom of each of the pages. You can decide what you want to know about them. e.g. my name is _______. This is what I looked like when I was a baby. This is what I look like now. These are my favorite books. These are some of my favorite books. These are some of the most important people I have been thinking about. Over the summer I ________. I am curious about _________. The kids work on these books at home, decorate them, fill them in, add photos. Then the books live in the classroom. We talk about how to take care of the books because they are special. Then the teachers can use them for curriculum ideas. It is a great community building project and a great way to make a first connection between family and school. (The teacher can make one too.)
Children are often unsure the first few days of school. At circle time, I have a stuffed soft dog puppet that comes out to say hello. He is shy too. He does not speak and likes to come to each child for a paw shake. The children tell the dog puppet their name…it eases their nervousness. I move the puppet slowly and whisper. This also helps with English Language Learners, as the child pronounces his/her name.
During the first week of school I ask the children to bring in a picture of themselves and a picture of their families. I then create a tree and place it on a wall near my sign in/out sheet. Once the pictures come in, I place the family pictures in the branches of the tree and it becomes a unique family tree. It also helps those children who are missing their mommies and daddies because they can go and look at their picture whenever they are feeling blue. The student pictures I use on a class board. I have the children write their name and then I place their picture next to it. Throughout the week, we add information about ourselves (our favorite color, favorite food, etc.) to this student board. It helps the children express ideas about themselves and it helps the other children get to know one another. I also include a picture of myself and my family because I’m apart of the class too!
“All About Me” or “Community Helpers” (nurse/doctor)
We put together a booklet of body parts drawn on paper, ex. elbow, knee, ankle, chin, finger, and supply small band aids. The book is called “My Band Aid Book”. We look at each page and ask the child to show us his/her elbow, etc. When they can do that, they get to put a band aid on their elbow and one on the elbow in the book. It helps to learn various body parts plus fine motor in getting the band aids on.
“All About Me” art/bulletin board:
During our All About Me week I have the parents bring in a baby picture of the child to place beside a picture that I have taken at school. Before the current picture is placed along side the baby picture I have the children try to guess who the baby in the picture is during circle time. After this I place the pictures (baby & current) on a bulletin board with the words “There is only one beautiful child, and every mother has one.”
Draw an outline of a large foot on light colored paper. At the top write the caption ” When my feet are big” Send this home with children with a note for parents having them ask the kids this question. Try to write the exact words with little prompting. Very cute and funny answers!
We always ask our pre-k children to bring a picture of themselves so that we can make a friendship book. I have the children tell me about their family, pets, favorite color, food, and what they want to be when they grow up. It’s all put in a spiral notebook and each child gets a chance to take it home to show their parents their classmates.
We have an orientation day at our school and the class is divided into two 45 minute sessions. A parent comes with their child, so I like to have them participate in an activity. I prepare my bulletin board with the title “The More We Get Together, The Happier We’ll Be” I then place the children’s names at different places on the board. Each child is given a person pattern, and I ask them to decorate it to look like themselves. Mom or Dad is watching them do this, and they really enjoy it. After the child has finished, the parent then takes the child to the bulletin board, and staples the figure by the child’s name. Of course, the child points out his/her name first. It makes a great September display.
Many children are not aware of how they got their names. I sent home a piece of paper which ask parents to describe the origins of their child’s name. It was interesting the results we got. Some children were named after relatives, because of the meaning of the name, after plants, or just because their parents liked the name. We read a few of these each day at circle time until we had read them all. We also used a baby name book to look up the meaning of each name.
I have the children bring in an old pair of pants, longs sleeved shirt and pillow case. For a couple of days we just tear and wad paper. (We turn this into a lot of fun by jumping in it like a pile of leaves or having paper wad fights.) Then we tie the ends of the shirt and pants and stuff them with the paper. I use the digital camera and take each child’s picture, print it on transfer paper and iron their faces on the pillow cases. We then stuff the pillow cases and stitch the pieces together. My kids will take these to each other and say “Hey, look at me”. They play with these replicas for weeks, even give them rides in our riding toys. We keep them until after Halloween because we talk about scarecrows for Fall with them.
This is a great idea to get the parents involved, and its really fun for the kids! We had the parents bring pictures of their family (siblings, mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles..etc.), some of their friends, and their house. Then we had the kids make foot and hand prints and different art projects and put them in the book. We put the kids books together, because our kids were little! But parents love them and its really fun! Enjoy!
The first week of school I had the children create “All About Me” books. On each page was a different picture of their families, their pets, and what ever else they liked. When they were done we labeled them and put them in the library. The children really enjoyed looking at each others books.
For a cute bulletin board idea, we have the children bring in a picture of themselves (or their family if you choose to theme it this way). We then place everyone’s picture on a bulletin board which says, “Say Cheese”. We cut out of black construction paper, a camera (use white chalk to draw a lens on it); we make the word “cheese” look like Swiss cheese with holes in the letters. Place children’s pictures all around the camera. We get a lot of compliments from the parents!!
Enlarge paper dolls and clothes and laminate them. Put Velcro on the doll and on the outfit. It is a great way to teach about cultures or even seasonal clothes- my twos love it and so do the pre-k kids!
Look How We’ve Blossomed: Have a pictures of each child starting with baby pictures and going up to the child’s current age. Have the children color coffee filters and glue the pictures in the center of the filter. Just add a green pipe cleaner and construction paper leaves.
On the first day of school, I take pictures of my students. When I get them developed, I wait until the day I get doubles for no extra charge. I use one of the photo’s to make a class Brown Bear Book. I put a picture of a clip art Brown Bear on a 4×6 unlined index card with the title “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” On the next card at the top I add the phrase “I see Alexis looking at me!”. Then I glue Alexis’s picture to the middle of the card. Then at the bottom of the card I add the phrase “Alexis, Alexis, What Do You See?”. I continue do this in alphabetical order of all the students in the class. I conclude the book with photos of my aides, assistant, myself and ending with a whole class photo. I laminate the cards and hand the on a metal shower hook so pages can be turned easily. By the time the children have learned all the other students names, they go around reading the book while showing you your photo.
At the beginning of the year I take pictures of the students. I enlarge the photographs on the copy machine to fit a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. Then I copy the photograph on to tagboard. I then cut the copied photo into 6-8 pieces to make a puzzle. I put the puzzle pieces into a file folder (stapled sides) and glue the real photo to the front of the folder and print the child’s name. I set out 4-5 different photo puzzles each day and put then in a desktop file rack. Children can pull one of their friends photo puzzles and put them together.
Several years ago, I learned this poem. “Here is a circle that is my head. Here is my mouth where words are said. Here are my eyes so I can see. Here is my nose; it’s a part of me. Here is my hair on top of my head. Here is my hat so tiny and red. Here is my smile that I show to say,’ I’m very glad to be in school today!'” I wrote each line on one page and put the pages together to form a book. The children in my class (4-5-year-olds) used crayons and paper to illustrate each line. We punched holes in the pages and each child went home with their own book. We made a cover page with the title, All About Me, and wrote their names as the illustrator. I do not know where the poem originated, but I have used it at circle time also.
During our “I Like Me!” theme, I read the children the book “We Are All Alike…We Are All Different”. I then ask the children to use watercolors to paint their faces. Cut them out and save. Have the child’s trace and cut their handprints. Arrange faces into one large continuous circle. Then arrange the child’s handprints underneath the faces to form their own continuous circle. Write the book title to complete the board.
Each year I make an “All About Me” book. Each month I save at least 1 example of their work. I use handprint art, etc. to make it unique to each child. Then I bind the book together for the presentation of it to their parents at the end of school.
For a different idea for a family tree we had the children pick out small branches on a nature walk. Then we used clay to anchor each one in a small margarine tub. Then we sent home a note to each family to send in various small items that we could hang on our “trees” that had to do with what their families liked to do or their interests. It could be pictures from magazines showing favorite foods or things they liked or it could be small objects. We then hung them on each individual tree or put them at the base of the tree if they couldn’t be hung. We had them on display for an open house with each family name on display along with their own “family tree”. Needless to say everyone thought they were adorable!
Our class developed a cookbook made up of recipes from our grandparents. We sent home a form to each family and they could submit as many recipes as they wanted that were passed on by their grandparents. On the form they had to either attach a picture of that grandparent or the child could draw a picture of them. They also had to list the recipe and a short memory about that recipe. We compiled all the recipes in a ring binder and made copies for all those who requested one. We had 22 children in the class and ended up with more than 45 orders for our book. It was a big hit with everyone.
For a Christmas activity we made a Christmas Tradition book. Each family had to submit something that was a tradition for their family, it could include anything even a special recipe that they made every year. The children enjoyed hearing everyone’s different traditions.
Tell the children that you have one of the most important people in the world inside your special box. Have the children take turns guessing who it is. Then allow them one at a time to look inside the box. (Inside the box you put a large mirror, so when the children look inside they see themselves.) After they have all had a turn looking inside the box, ask them the question again. Explain to them that they each are one of the most important people in the world because they are unique/different and that their is no one else in the world just like them. That is what makes them very special.
For the children to create a body, the first day use a paper plate for the face. On the second day the children put together pre-cut hands, arms, neck, etc. to form a body. On the next day cut out some clothes and dress the body (with material and buttons).
This bulletin board is called “Who’s Who?” Divide the board in half. On one side put a recent photograph of each child. On the other side put up each child’s baby picture (the younger the better) sent in by the parent. The children, parents, and other teachers have a ball trying to figure out who’s who.
Cut out pictures of things you find in a house. On a large sheet of paper draw line down and across to make four rooms. Name the rooms and have the children glue the objects into the right room. Our group of two to four years olds love it!
We are making paper cubes for each member of the child’s family and attaching pictures cut out of catalogs/magazines (moms, dads, kids, babies…). Then each child will have a little “block family” to play with. (Next week we are making houses out of cardboard boxes – the two projects could be done as part of one unit and go together.)
All About Me Books In my Pre-K class we do a year-long project called our All About Me books. During the first week of school the children do their cover. This is a mosaic name. Each child’s name is traced out in white crayon and they glue little pre-cut squares of multi-colored construction paper on to each letter until their complete first name is spelled out. If their name is extremely long they may need a little help so as not to become frustrated. I will usually start at the last letter and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle! Our first page would be a photo and “theme” item from our first day. It then is divided in half-pages ~ 1 side is September’s self-portrait and the other is June’s self-portrait. You’ll be amazed at the difference, and how much their drawing has matured. Next would be family, handprints, weigh & measure. You can include special drawings of activities or class projects throughout the year. Example: Teddy Bear Picnic, Christmas Program, classroom tree, etc. They can really grow. you’ll have to decide what you would want included in them. Usually the last page is an autograph page that the children themselves sign right before school’s ending. The book is kept in school until graduation in June, tied with ribbon and then sent home. During my 20 years as a pre-school teacher I have had many parents leave our graduation tearfully as they turned the pages through their child’s book. It is a cumulative project that really is a sweet momentum of their Pre-K year.
I measured each of the children with adding machine paper twice a year. They color/decorate it however they want and I write their name and the date on it. You can send them home with a note that you will do it again in six months, or keep it in their portfolio and send them both home at the end of the year.
I make a border that says “All about Me!” I cut out paper the size of business cards. Under the border I put each child’s name going across. Each day we add a piece of paper under their name. What my favorite color is, what my favorite food is, who I like to play with, my favorite song. . . We do this until we have no more room. We like to read them at circle time. It helps the children to get to know each other.
During “All About Me” in our classroom, we have the parent write a letter to the child about the day he/she was born. (i.e.. how they felt, the kind of day, who was present, what they looked like, etc.) We then mount the letter onto a piece of construction paper along with a baby photo of the child. It is a large success. The children enjoy hearing about the day they were born.
I teach pre-k at the Buttons and Bows daycare. In the beginning of the school year I hand out an “All about Me” paper for the children to fill out. Their favorite color, book, song, T.V. show, thing to do. I ask if they have any pets and ask the kids to finish the sentence My Family Is… (example fun to be with). They bring in pictures of themselves and pictures with their families. About every two weeks I feature a “Student of the Week”. The kids think it is great to see things about them cut out of construction paper and hung on a special board. It’s great self esteem for the kids to talk about themselves.
I have a small suit case that each child is able to take home. I ask them to fill it with things that are special to them from their home. They must be able to fit their special items in the suitcase. When the child returns for class ( I teach preschool 2 days per week in my home) he/she is allowed to sit on my lap during circle and show off their goodies. All the children love being able to take my special suit case home.
Make a book for each child by folding 11 X 17″ white construction paper in half and stapling the center. On the front, I wrote, My All About Me Book. All pages were fill in the blanks. Page one: I am a ____ (boy or girl.) You fill in the blank for the child. Page two: I weigh ___ pounds. I took my scale to school and weighed them. Page three: I am ____feet ___inches tall. Yup, I measured them, too. Page four: My hair looks like this. The child draws his or her hair. Page five: My hand looks like this. I traced around their hands. On each page, have the child illustrate the writing. Encourage them to draw something, even when you get the “I can’t” answer. Parents loved these!