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These activities include a game and graphing activity to get to know your preschool children. They are sure to help students get to know each other and feel less nervous about starting preschool.
Try this fun idea to help students learn to spell their names and later their friends' names. Write each student's name on a sentence strip or large, unlined index card. Give each student his name to decorate with crayons. Laminate the cards and then cut them apart letter by letter. Place each name puzzle into an envelope with the name written on it. The students can practice spelling their names by putting their puzzles together. Later in the year you can put all of the puzzles into a center and let the students work each other's puzzles.
Book and Activities
Here are two great books to share with your preschoolers about going to school.
Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins
This is a cute book that shows students what to expect in a typical day of preschool. Maisy spends a day at preschool that includes snack time, painting, music, recess and even bathroom breaks. Share this book before going over your daily schedule with the class. Make a large chart with pictures of the things you will do each day and discuss it with the class. Display where everyone can see it and refer to it during the first weeks of school as everyone learns the schedule. Picture cards in a pocket chart work great too and then you can change your add things on the days when your schedule is a little different. Your students will feel more at ease when they know what to expect.
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes seems to know just how kids feel. Your preschool students will really be able to relate this story about Wemberly who seems to worry about everything, especially going to school. Read it and discuss what your students were worried about when they started school. Give each student a piece of paper and let them draw a picture of something they were worried about.
Who's in Our Class? Graph
This graphing activity will give student a head start at learning each other's names and faces. On the first day of school take pictures of all of your students. Once you have your pictures printed, mount the pictures on construction paper with enough of a border at the bottom to write the students' names under them. Use the pictures to make graphs about the students. The first day that you make one, start with something easy like boys and girls. Discuss the results and leave the graph displayed for a day or two before changing it. You use the pictures for graphing activities all year long, but at the first of the year choose things to help your students get to know each other better. Early in the you'll probably want to start with simple two column graphs. Try yes and no questions, "Do you have a dog?" or "Do you like chocolate?" Later you can graph other things like eye color and number of people in your family.
Here is another great graphing lesson for the beginning of the school year.
Your class will have fun doing these activities as they start the new school year! You as a teacher will also have fun with this game to get to know your preschool children.