It's that time of summer when I begin to feel crazily excited about the beginning of school. I am much more excited as a teacher than I ever was as a student! I have my little list of names and can't help but love them even if I don't know who they are. What I do know is they are coming to my classroom for a reason. Each and everyone of them were put there for a purpose and I can't wait to start getting to know them! EEEEE!! MY BABIES!! Can you tell I love teaching? 

So, to get ready for school I sat down and actually made a first day/week activity. I like making stuff. Whether it's a milking stand or document, any idea can be turned into a reality. Last year, my class made time capsules. We filled out an old (I mean I found it in a book from the 80's old) student information sheet and then decorated toilet paper tubes. We folded up our papers and stuffed them into our "time caspules." But the paper wasn't the only thing that got stuffed into the tubes. We also traced our hands on construction paper and cut them out and cut a string to show how tall we were at the beginning of the year. We also put in a picture of ourselves. Now, when I say "we" that means each kid. I have a habit of saying "we" since the class is a unit... but anyways... just wanted to clear that up. We didn't have one big time capsule, each kid had their own... ok, I'll move on, I promise... I then hid the time capsules in the closet to wait for ten long months.

Fast forward to May and it was time to bust out the time capsules. I hid them all around the room. Which was a fun idea until we realized that most of the class had failed to write their names on their capsules. Smarty pants. Eesh. What ensued was mass confusion about whose was whose and some kids trying to claim the longest strings as their own even though they weren't even as tall as the string. Heh heh! There were also wrinkled up hands that looked... well... bad. In the whole unwrapping of the capsules all we ended up with was a big mess. BUT, the kids loved it. They loved seeing how small they were at the beginning of the year and how much they've grown. They looked so proud! 

One of the things I love about teaching is being able to learn how to make things better. You take something the kids enjoyed, look at what worked and what didn't, and you change things as needed. So, I took the idea of the time capsule and tweaked it a little bit. 

1. I consolidated everything onto one page. I got rid of the old 80's questionnaire and replaced it with a page that asks for the basics: favorite subjects, age, and favorite things to do. 
2. On the page are blocks for the kids to trace their hand, glue down their picture, and TIE the string to their paper. EUREKA! How many headaches and hurt feelings would that have saved!?
3. I added an extra sheet to save for the end of the year that will allow the kids to compare and contrast their size and interests to that of the beginning of the year.

The result was a packet I am very satisfied with and I can't wait to use it with my new babies this year! You can find the link to this new product here! Check it out in my teacherspayteachers store!