On the first day of school, let your children go on a picture scavenger hunt around your classroom. Before school begins, take pictures of various locations such as the bathroom, coat rack, cubbies, art center, sink, etc. Post the pictures at the appropriate locations. Photocopy the pictures (minimize them if your photocopy machine has the capacity to do so) and give each child a copy. Let them go searching around the room to match their pictures. Our kids love this activity!
On the first or second day of school, I have a treasure hunt for the children to help learn about the lay out of our school. However, I borrowed this fun idea from one of my own children’s teachers. The night before I bake a large gingerbread person (the entire size of a cookie sheet). I hide this in the school kitchen (or any other room – discuss with the staff beforehand). The day of the treasure hunt I read the story of the gingerbread boy. Next, we tour the school asking each classroom if they’ve seen a missing gingerbread person. After we locate the missing gingerbread person, we return to the classroom and eat this yummy treat. The preschoolers love this!
I use my digital camera to take a photo of each child. I have used them for the following purposes: 1) I printed two of each child for a game of concentration. 2) Transition activity at the beginning of the year: lay one photo of each child face down in the middle of the circle. When a child selects a photo, they say the name of the child in the photo. Good get-acquainted activity.3) I put two photos up each day. These are the children who sit by me all day. That ended a lot of arguing about who would sit by me. Works really well and I use them in alphabetical order.
For the first day in class I use to prepare a colored dice for the children to introduce themselves. First, you select the six colors for the dice, for example; red, yellow, green, blue, orange and purple. Second, prepare enough colored strips, using each of the colors of the dice so that every student receives one, even if the color is repeated. Third, when each student has his strip, the teacher starts rolling the dice. The students that have the strip with color given by the dice stand up and begin to introduce themselves. The teacher may ask for a volunteer to start the introduction. When all the students with that color finished their presentation, the first volunteer will have his turn to roll the dice and the activity is repeated until all the students have introduced themselves.