School Sleuth

UPDATE: The winner of the School Sleuth pack is Patty!!  An e-mail is coming your way, Patty!

One of my favorite things to do on the first day of school is to take my little kidlets on a school tour.  Even my 2nd graders need a refresher of where everything is, how to walk in the hallway and which hallway to take so that they aren't wandering around the school.  During this time we practice how to enter/exit the cafeteria, locate our resource classes and walk in the hallway in a nice line. 

Since my kids last year LOVED using QR codes at the end of the year, I decided to make some riddles and QR codes for our school-wide tour!  This pack has written riddles and QR codes for those who like to scan QR codes using a cell phone, iPod touch or iPad.  I usually just use my cell phone and have one student read it after it's scanned. 15 locations are included and you can either use them all or pick and choose whichever ones work best for your students/school. Click on one of the pictures below to check it out!

Full size and half size posters are included for written riddles and for the QR codes.

Looking for a new approach at giving your students a school-tour?  Tell me one of your favorite activities to do with your kids on the first day of school for a chance to win School Sleuth! (Don't forget to include your e-mail address in your comment) 


  1. I love to read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and have the kids graph their names and post for all to see. It is also a great book to discuss bullying and how it feels to hurt one another.

  2. I like to take a gingerbread man type pattern, and have my kiddos decorate to look like them with things they like to do. We then share our people.


  3. I love reading First Day Jitters and making jitter juice! The kids love it! I know they will love these riddles and QR codes as well! Thank you for the chance to win! :-)

  4. I've done a school wide tour in the past, but I love this idea of using QR codes to do a back to school tour/scavenger hunt!! We also make Jitter Juice and read a variety of back to school books!
    Learning Is Something To Treasure

  5. I ask them to write a short paragraph (for 2nd graders). They write their name, their age, their favorite thing to do, something they are good at and something they want to learn about. Then I collect them and put them in my June file. In June, I pull them back out and show them to the students. They can see their own growth in spelling, handwriting, and sentence structure. Many times, kids don't think they've learned anything. This is proof to them that they truly have grown a bit.

  6. I love to use magic playdough on the first day of school! "Magic play dough soft and white, we will squeeze with all our might! If another color appears, it means we'll have an amazing year!" I let the kids smoosh it for a while and turn it colors (I use white playdough with either a little food coloring inside or a small ball of another color tucked into the center of the white.) Then, I have them answer a question with the playdough by creating something....favorite food, subject, sport, etc. They love it! And I would LOVE to win this pack! I always do a scavenger hunt, but this is TOO cute!!!

  7. I rarely do the same thing twice, but I love to have the students fill out a sheet about themselves and then I tuck it away till the end of the year. They get such a kick out of seeing their answers and their handwriting!

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  8. I love to read the book, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today." We talk about how we can be bucket fillers at home and at school. We do a visual sort and role play being bucket fillers. I then show the students the bucket filler center where each student has their own bucket. At the center the children can fill out slips of paper and "fill" their classmate's bucket. This is an activity that I carry out all year, but I introduce it on the first day of school. I also do a school tour, but the QR Code tour would be AWESOME!

  9. We brainstorm and draft our classroom contract! It's so cute to see everyone sign their name at the end of the contract. This year I am making a big frame that says "First Day of Second Grade" and I want to take the kids' pictures holding the frame. Then we'll do one again on the last week so I can give them a little split screen shot as an end of year gift.

    I love all your stuff and would LOVE to win this pack!! Thanks:)


  10. I do a similar activity, but it is for finding things in our classroom - like where the paper is, where do you put finished work, etc. the kids have pictures of the items and have to work with a partner to find where they are in the classroom. Then we all come back together and share. It's a fun way to get to know the classroom and I get a sneak peek at my kids in action! I love the QR codes idea! ~ Lisa

  11. We do first day of school photos and read lots of first day books!

  12. I love to read the book Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind to introduce our Reading Workshop to my students. I am moving to a new school and a new grade level and would LOVE this pack!!
    Twins, Teaching and Tacos.

  13. I LOVE the idea of QR codes for the school scavenger hunt! On the first day we usually read First Day Jitters and make jitter juice. I also like to have the kids write about their summer. I am looking for new ideas this year to spice things up. Last year I let my kiddos design and paint a monster since this is our classroom theme.

    Swinging Through Second Grade

  14. I am so boring, which I plan to change this year. ANY suggestions are appreciated :)

    Alicia B.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing. The first day is so important and sets the tone for the rest of the year. I bet the kids love taking the tour and reading the codes. I have set a goal of learning about QR codes this year. They look like fun, but are so intimidating to me. Are they hard to make?
    One of my first day activities is to read The kissing hand. I have everyone make a "Chester" and then they write-On the first day of school I felt _____ on a sentence strip. I post them on a bulletin board. I also give them a little chocolate kiss.
    When I take them on a school tour I take pictures that we use later in a class book. I have groups write the sentences for each picture. (Example-We went up the ramp. We went into the cafeteria. We went around the swings etc. It's fun! Thanks!

  16. I love to take their pictures the first day of school. It is fun to watch them grow over the year. We also have an art lesson and draw our portrait. Of course we read books, play games and even sing songs the first day. It is always fun.

  17. If this isn't the cutest idea EVER, I don't know what is! This went right to my wishlist!! I still get very nervous for my first day and have nightmares about not teaching routines and procedures like I have in the past and my class being wild animals! The first day always goes so fast and is filled with so much excitement! I use a lot of picture books to relate to many topics going on with the start of a new school year. I loved reading all the different ideas of first day activities!

    I've Got It Made in Second Grade

  18. My favorite thing to do on the first day of school is reading First Day Jitters and making jitter juice!

    Lindsey -

  19. hello! I'm our school marketing gal :)
    Can I get your info emailed to me for this great hunt!?