Each summer I wonder what kind of task to send along in the welcome letter for students. I like tasks that are inviting, that give an impression of what we will do together in the coming year without being too cumbersome or daunting.
Last summer we sent Squiggles, which were fun. Each student received a squiggle, which they could decorate as they wished. The students brought their squiggle drawings to school on the first day to share. We loved seeing how the students all took the same beginning shapes and created imaginative designs!
At the end of this school year, our art teacher organized an Artist Trading Card session for the last day of school. Students had been making cards all year, and each had a handful to share. Caught up in the usual end-of-year flurry, I only made three. Of course the kids all wanted to trade with me and I didn't have enough to trade with everyone.
This year, then, we decided to start with the trading cards! Each student will get two blank cards in the welcome to school letter. I've been spending summer days doodling away on cards to send along in each envelope. Each student will get one completed card and two blanks, all for trading (or not) on the first day of school.
It hasn't been as daunting a task as I thought. In fact, the cards are the perfect size for quick doodles and experiments, and have given me a purpose for trying out techniques and looking at my garden in a new way.
Daylilies are fun:
Last year's students all liked the fountain doodle, so I've made a few variations. This is a very old style for me, first perfected around the notes from my tenth grade World History class.
Yesterday a new image crept into my drawing. Oh, no! What is this? Fall leaves? An impossible schoolhouse?
Oh, well. Fall can't come too soon--I still have 20+ cards to make.
-Have you tried Frolyc yet? I have lots of my texts posted there. It's an easy way to quickly publish content to student iPads.
-If you also have September on your mind, you may want to go ahead and check out my September reading homework packets. Four high-interest texts with parent-friendly directions, comprehension questions, and vocabulary activities.
-Teaching About Theme is a great set of activities for the beginning of the year. Multi-level stories and activities are all focused on the topic of theme.
-I've made several revisions to my pack Text-Based Inferences and More. Included is an interactive PowerPoint modeling the inference making process, assessments, and the kid-friendly Max Mission passages.