Whirlwind of a Week

There is nothing quite as exhausting as the first week of school.  It’s funny how every year I forgot all that is involved the first days of the school year.   The good great news is that I think I’m going to have a wonderful group of students this year.  I have a lot of students with really fun personalities, which makes the year so enjoyable.  I’ve spent more time than usual this week on ice breaker and team building activities.  Today we celebrated the 3rd day in 3rd grade and had so much fun!  This was all of my students first experience with task cards, so I had teach teach HOW I wanted the task cards completed.  I think this will be great preparation for math work stations, which we’ll start in a couple of weeks.

I also did one of my favorite team building activities today.  I gave each group a blank puzzle that was secretly missing one piece. 

 The groups worked together to complete their puzzles, but of course no one’s puzzle could be completed.  Everyone was looking on the floor for the lost piece and asking other groups if they had the missing piece.  As soon as each group completed as much of their puzzle as they could, I called the class back together to discuss what the problem was.

I used this to illustrate that each member of the group is an important piece of the puzzle.  Each group member is needed to be present, participate, and a good team player for their group to be complete.  I then distributed the missing puzzle pieces and allowed students to decorate their puzzles as a team.  My students really enjoyed this activity, and I think that they understood the point of the lesson.

When we did this little activity from my Back to School Blast, I quickly learned that I need to teach students the difference between a city, state, and country.  I had so many students think that going to a different state was the same as going to a different country, so we’re going to work on that next week.  My students also now think I’m awesome, because I can say the ABCs backward.  They thought that was the coolest thing ever!

It’s been a fun week, and I’m definitely excited to really dive into our curriculum next week.  I hope to finish my major preassessments tomorrow and hit the ground running on Monday. 



  1. says

    I love your puzzle idea!!! I am definitely going to use it. I think it's pretty awesome that you can say your ABCs backwards. Thanks to the song Fifty Nifty United States that I learned in 3rd grade, I can say the fifty states in alphabetical order in under twenty seconds. I have my class time me on the first day of school. Isn't it great when they are impressed by our talents.

    Check out what one of my kiddos shared with me on the How to Be Great page from your Back to School Book. It made my day. It's near the end of the post.
    Lunch Count, Exhaustion and Frogs

  2. says

    Love the "missing piece" what a great analogy! My students are deaf or hard of hearing and they feel left out quite often…I may use this idea with a twist, thanx for the idea. I bought some puzzles from Oriental Trading a few years ago, but did you find them somewhere else? These look like they have less pieces than the ones I had–which I would prefer for this activity.

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