Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ocean Themed Classroom & First Day of School Freebie

We posted this picture of our fish themed first day of school activity on our Instagram page the other day and had a lot of requests to share!
One of our favorite first day of school activities to welcome our new school of fish into our ocean themed classroom is to create these O-FISH-Al Welcome Back Bands. 
It gives our first graders a little down time during their long first day back to school, and it gives us a quick first day assessment to see how their coloring and cutting skills are from the get go. 
They are super easy to prep and assemble. The pride our new class feels walking around school with their O-FISH-Al first grade band on their heads is priceless. Ha! The parents get a kick out of their fish heads swimming out of our classroom door at the end of the day, plus they give us adorable class pictures for their memory books too!

We've just added this first day of school activity to our TpT Shop. You can follow our TpT Store and grab it for free below. Enjoy! 
Here's a few more ways we integrate the ocean/fish theme into our classroom each year. 
We have received a Pets in the Classroom grant for the past several years, which we use to replenish and set up our classroom aquarium. We set aside time in the first weeks of school to use our aquarium set up as a class community building activity. You'd be amazed how many ideas there are flying on what our class fish tank should look like! 
We set up a fish themed attendance system on our Promethean Board, which the kids start each day with.
We use this fish light during silent reading time. We call it, "Quiet as Fish Reading" and tell the kids they must be quiet as fish while they read. Our class helper is responsible for turning on and off the light at the beginning and end of our SSR time. 
Our Wish Fish board is a big hit with parents. We just use a class easel to stick our handwritten supply wishes onto and place the easel outside our classroom door. We set our Wish Fish easel outside at events like Back to School Night, parent conference week, Open House, special school events, or anytime we are running low and could use a few classroom donations. We just ask parents to stick the fish back onto their supply with their name on it so we can write a thank you card for their generous donation. :)
You can grab a copy our our Wish Fish {here}.

We've loved using the ocean/fish theme in our classroom for many years now. Here are some of our favorite ocean themed classroom activities.
 
Incorporating a theme in our classroom builds buy in for our students and makes memorable activities all year long! What's your class theme?

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