First Days of the Year...and Freebies!


The first day has come and gone...actually, the first TWO...we went back on Wednesday - which I actually like because it gives us three "get to know you" days....

BUT, we have been SUPER busy!!

Let me show you what we've been up to....

I know..I know...I haven't shown you classroom pix yet - but that's a long post, so I am going to do that one this weekend for you...


Here's what we did the first day...

Since my room is beach themed, I thought, what better "community" activity than to do it with a beach ball??

So we tossed the ball to each other and everyone had to say, "Hi, my name is....and my favorite thing we did this summer was..." and then they wrote their name on the ball.

And we hung it from the ceiling - right dab SMACK in the middle.

THEN, we did our time capsule...

They turned out super cute!
(sorry for the wonky pics...I've tried it THREE times -grrr)

I just took what I've been doing for years and made them cuter - you know, since I'm addicted to clip art - hehe..

Then, I measured them with a piece of yarn...

(yes, I've already gotten permission to post pics of my students from my parents - that goes home in the first day packet)

and used that piece of yarn to hold the papers together - and wrote their name on the outside - and I "buried" them (in a drawer) until the end of the year.

You can grab them on {THIS} post!

AND we've done Reagan's quilt

Yes...there are some missing ones...slackers - haha! 

AND we've done the glyph I made to go with Corinna's surfer kids she posted.

Click {HERE} for her surfer....

and {HERE} for the glyph I made to go with it.

My centers are all set for next week...

In the Math tubs, I have my School Days centers and some of Reagan's Back to School Math Centers

(again...wonky pictures - sorry!)

And in my Literacy buckets, I have my School Days Literacy centers....


Forgot to share another form we use in the beginning of the year that I made cuter :)
My friend shared this with me years ago and I love having it...

It's our parent survey - I keep this in my communication binder in those plastic sleeves...and then keep all the notes they give me behind this paper in the sleeve....and the log form hole punched behind the sleeve.

Click {HERE} to get a copy of the survey.

And last, but not least...

LOOK what the hubs gave me the first day :D

He's a firefighter - so they are PERFECT - LOVE THEM!!

Hope y'all had/have a great first couple of days! 

Let me know if you find my freebies useful =)

Love hearing from you!

Feel free to  pin too! 

Freebie Fridays


smoran892 said...

I love the parent survey - just downloaded :)

And the flowers are such a nice little first day surprise, so sweet!

T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

Unknown said...

wow! you are getting me soo excited about the beginning of the year!!!! WOW you have been busy!
Thanks Jen for all the shout outs! Let's just be on the same team!!!!!

Lisa R. said...

It looks like the beginning of the year is off to a GREAT start!! I love the activities that you did with your students, especially the beach ball idea. I hope you have a great school year!! :)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Traci Clausen said...

Flowers for the 1st day! SOOOOO SWEEEET!!!

Love the wording of #12 on the parent survey. :D

Miss Kindergarten said...

I agree! You're making going back to school look like fun!

Beth said...

It looks like a great first day! Where did you get those plastic bins for your centres? They are awesome.
Thinking of Teaching

Holly said...

OH my goodness - looks like you've had some good times in the classroom. I love your beach ball idea - I may need to steal that one!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Jessica said...

I am loving your first days activities! You are making going back to school sound more and more FUN. I really like your beach ball activity.

Apples and Papers

SunnyDays said...

Thanks for the time capsule stuff - SOOO doing that! and I forgot I also have Reagan's quilts!! Thanks for the reminder.

Looks like a fun few days!
Sunny Days In Second Grade

Unknown said...

Everything looks sooooooo cute!!! Can't wait to use your capsule with my 5th graders!!!! Hope you have an AMAZING school year!

Chrissy said...

That is the cutest fire truck! Sweet hubby :-)

You are off to a fantastic start!

Eileen Griffin said...

It all looks great. Thanks for sharing. Where did you get your bins? I love them!
Second Grade Sunshine

Jenn Long said...

WOW! Thanks for the freebies and I tossed your School Days Literacy Centers in my TPT cart! That arrangement is adorable too!

A Pirates Life for Us

Elizabeth said...

Jen, everything looks so fun! I want to be a student in your room. I especially love the time capsule. I'm right there with you, I do this every year, but now I want a cute version :) And, your sweet hubby. Awww.

Fun in Room 4B

Susan Manning said...

Hey! Looks like you all are having fun in your room. Thanks for the freebie Parent Survey. I like your idea of putting this in a page protector and putting notes behind it!! I'm definitely using this!!

Come on over and visit my new blog, I picked up your button and added to blogs I love! Pick up mine too and become a follower.

Love the flowers your hubs sent you. How sweet!!


Dr. Cara Whitehead, NBCT said...

I love the time capsules!

As we are thinking about the new school year-new ideas, things to add, things to change, etc. I encourage you to give JogNog a try.

JogNog is instrumental in my classroom by engaging my students in learning. I, also, do some consulting with JogNog.

Teaching...My Calling

Amanda Kendall said...

My goodness, you are a power teacher! You are so organized and it looks like your kids had a great first week of school. Thank you for these awesome freebies. I'm your newest follower :)

The Teaching Thief

luckeyfrog said...

Thank you SO much for making the other grade levels! So excited to use this :) enjoy a break tonight!

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

Mrs.Not-Much-Taller-Than-A-Second-Grader said...

I adore your time capsules!! Thanks so much for posting them! I also teach second grade and this is such a great idea to show them how much they've changed over the year! One thing I noticed on the self portrait paper is that it says "May 2012". Could you please make one that says "May 2013" for us to use at the end of this school year?


Jen R said...

omgosh - did I NOT see that?? lol

I will change it now and repost it! ahhh!!

Wintaka said...

Thank you ever so much for all your hard work and willingness to share.
I teacher kindergarten and would love to use the time capsule. I would have parents help with the writing at the beginning of the year and then let them do their own at the end (with hep, of course) Would you consider making one with Kindergarten?

Wintaka said...

Boy, I need to proof read my comments. Please excuse the typos.

KellyL said...

Love ALL of it!!!! :)

Do you happen to have the time capsule for 6th graders? My kids would love that!

Nancy said...

Came to check out the parent survey (which is a great way to connect) and found your time capsules. I have done something similar in the past, but I like the graphics and layout! Never thought to do the yarn and tie it up for the end of the year...cute! Thanks for sharing.
Just signed up to follow your blog...looking forward to it!
Have a good year.

Unknown said...

Looks like a great start to the new year! Thanks for the freebies. Pictures from my iPhone flip sometimes. The quickest way I've found to fix it is on I just rotate it and save. Looking at the time capsule, I got jealous that you are done in May! (We are done in June. )


Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Love the time capsules and parent survey! I'll be downloading them!

Marie said...

Thanks for the freebies! You are awesome!
(The parent survey has a typo on #12.)

Jenny Glinka said...

Thanks so much for sharing the freebies! I look forward to using the time capsules and parent surveys with my looping students! :)

Sheryl said...

Where did you get the containers for your centers and what size are they? Please email me sheryl.spears!

Corinna said...

Cute, cute, cute:))) I seriously don't know how you do it all!!

Surfin' Through Second

Unknown said...

Your time capsules are adorable! Is there anyway you can post a version for preschool? Thank you so much for sharing!!

Amanda said...

Love the parent survey and would love to use it, but just caught a minor typo on number 12 - "...if there *is* anything else..." Thank you so much for sharing!!

Jen R said...

eek - sorry! number 12 has been fixed and uploaded, so you are good to go! :)

Teaching Fabulous Firsties! said...

Hi Jen,
Thank you so much for your hard work! I love the time capsule--thanks for tweaking it for first grade. We'll have fun doing this when school starts. I'm happy to have found your blog. I’m having my big 100 follower giveaway! I’d love it if you wanted to come on over for a visit sometime. Thanks!
Your new follower,
Corinna :)
Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your wonderful ideas shared and original! You make me get excited to go back to work on August 28th!

Jen R said...

thank you, all, for your sweet comments - I'm so glad you can use these!

Janaye said...

This all looks fantastic!!

Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

Mrs. WF said...

I'm super excited to use the time capsules on the first days of school. I am especially appreciative because I teach a multi-age and was able to get the different packets for each grade. Thanks!!!

Hydezhin said...

eek - sorry! number 12 has been fixed and uploaded, so you are good to go! :)

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Lindsay Schulz said...

Hi! Love love your parent survey. I am finishing up my first year of teaching and hoping to use this next year. My only question is if it is possible to tweak where the contact numbers are listed. Instead of "moms work/dad work" could it be reworded to take the mom/dad part out? Or maybe add a line to say "other"? A lot of the students in my school have rough home lives and do not live with mom or dad. I would truly appreciate it! : )

Keri Kelly said...

I love your Parent Survey and time capsule. Last year, I used yarn to measure height, but at the end of the year forgot that they pulled the yarn to the correct length. EEEkkkk some kids thought that they had shrunk. This year, I am going to use ribbon. lol

Christina said...

I love the Parent Survey and Time Capsule! For some reason the Parent Survey isn't clear when I try to print it. Would you mind sending me a copy to Thank you so much!! Also, do you have a Time Capsule without a grade on it or for third grade as well? I'm teaching 2nd/3rd grade self-contained this year. You do such great work!

Christina said...

I just found the Time Capsules for multiple grades, but if you could still send me the Parent Survey that would be wonderful!!!

Unknown said...

where did you get those containers? enail me at

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