I have found a unique way of storing items, such as changes of clothing, art items and music items. I place them in a plastic shoe holder. The type that has a hook at the top and can be hung on the wall. In my batahroom I have the childrens changes of clothes, I have one for my infant items. I use one for art materials and I have several in the garage. Hang these where children can reach them if you are storing items they can use on a daily basis. since I have a family child care, this is a convenient way to turn my house back onto my house at the end of the week, if I need to. Since the windows are clear children can see what is in which compartment. There are several shoe racks available in different sizes and shapes.
I just thought of this idea during the summer, but I am going to try it. I find that children really enjoy hearing about their teacher’s favorite “things”. On the first day of school, I am going to bring in enough items that have something to do with me or my family for each child to hold one (i.e. a clown, a spatula, a baby bottle, a dog biscuit). Then I am going to have the children draw a picture of their new teacher doing something with that item. I will probably expand this idea by having the children bring a favorite item from their home so we can have chances throughout the day to talk about their interests also. I am hoping they will be able to tell their parents several things about their new teacher by the end of the first day.
I do an “All about Miss Pritchard” big book. I include pictures of me and my family, pictures of my house, a picture of me when I started school , graduated high school etc. I use this book to introduce myself to my Kindergarten students.
At our yearly open house I give each child a large cutout of a train car. I have written on it such things as:My favorite food is___________My favorite thing to do is ______________I’m scared of _______________ETC……I send this home at open house and the children are to decorate it, put a picture of of themselves, picture of mom and dad, etc.The first day of school they bring these back and I hang them around the room with my information on the engine and my assistants information at the caboose. It is very reassuring to the children when they can go to their train car and see a picture of mom and day anytime they want.
In Kindergarten and first grade, we would start the year out with our All About Me unit and make Rice Babies. These rice babies were made out of knee highs and had to weigh what the child weighed when they were born. We would make a rice baby book up for each child on the computer and the whole week was spent measuring the babies with links, cubes, crayons, rulers, and scales from the nurses office. The children would create baby stories in their journals or in a book that they made out of construction paper and white paper. The children brought stories to share from home about things that really happened or just made the stories up. We combined language and math skills with this project. The children carried them around with them throughout the day and sometimes I “watch” them if they were out at recess etc.