The beginning of the school year is just around the corner and as my room is beginning take shape, (notice I didn't say it was done ~ is a room ever done?), I am starting to shift my thinking over to curriculum and first day activities.
One of the things that I have done with my kiddos the past several years is a classroom scavenger hunt. The kids really seem to enjoy this and I have found it to be much more beneficial for helping kids remember where things are located than if I just say, "Here is our recycle bin..." This has also been a great quick assessment tool for me as well. After I've set the expectations and gone over the list with the kiddos, I send them on their way. I am then able to roam the room and observe their interactions with peers, their time on task, and their basic problem solving skills.
This summer with Vistaprint's great 4th of July sale, I put my scavenger hunt on oversized postcards for the kids. They turned out fantastic! To help kiddos tell their parents about their day, I added "homework" to the backside to give students/parents a springboard for conversation. I'm really excited to use the new cards with the kids on Thursday!