Whether you've been teaching for years or it's your first day as a full-time teacher, theFirst day of schoolit is often accompanied by some anxiety, no matter how prepared you are.
The same applies to students. Uncertainty about friends, teachers, and school work is enough to make even the most outgoing student a little nervous.
With that in mind, you should always consider this firstSchool activities dayThey can stimulate presentations, get students talking, and set the tone for a successful presentation.classroom leadership.
Get inspired by these 17 fun and creative activities for the first day of school and try them yourself. They're easy, free, and guaranteed to relieve the stressful first day of school.
We also added some of our favorite remote control and social distancing activity ideas towards the end.
1. Math prodigy
Attemptmathematical prodigy— a curriculum-aligned, game-based learning platform for grades 1-8 — forengage your class duringdeepen lesson content jimpart essential skills.
Borrowing engaging elements from video games, students use Prodigy Math to engage in math duels against in-game characters. To win, they must answer math questions that will test their skills. It's a great way to get kids excited about learning from day one of school and beyond.
used miraclesadaptive learningjdifferentiated teachingPrinciples for personalizing learning.
Use it on the first day of schoolreceive valuable feedback from students, pre-teach upcoming concepts and track learning progress throughout the year.
In addition, there is a placement test that starts collecting information as soon as students start their first math battle and runs automatically every dayJanuary and August.
The placement test determines the math content students see in the game and assigns it to the correct grade level for them. It's the foundation upon which all your math work in Prodigy is built.
2. Find a friend
The Find a Friend game is a fun activity designed to help students get comfortable with their new classmates. To play the game, students must first be given worksheets with a list of topics such as sports, food, games, etc. from which they must choose their favorites.
Image source:First grade, teachers pay teachers
Distribute the worksheet to students and give each student about five minutes to identify their favorite categories using a pen or pencil. You can create or access your own spreadsheetfree printablesas above.
Then ask students to find classmates who fit the description in each box. This gives you a natural topic of conversation when you first meet:Help them find common ground and create a friendly interaction.
- Students can list each classmate only once on the worksheet.
- Students must spell names correctly; When they find a friend to add to their sheet, they have to ask them how they spell their first name
- You can use this opportunity to have students show you their best handwriting and set a good precedent for the school year.
3. "Who's new?" word search
Use a free word search generator such asDer Puzzle Maker von Discovery Educationto create a word search using your students' names as hidden words. Print out copies to place on any desk.
Students will enjoy looking up their names along with those of their classmates. After about 10 minutes, the students naturally begin to help each other, leading to conversation and facilitating the introduction.
4. Thanks for the compliment!
This fun, confident icebreaker encourages students to compliment each other.
At the beginning, each student gets a blank sheet of paper taped to their back. Then each classmate thinks of a compliment to write on the backs of all other students.
After the entire class has finished, ask students to remove their papers and read all of the praise they received to the class.
Discuss what a compliment is (and isn't) with your students to ensure all compliments are appropriate.
5. Let's decorate
Invite students to help decorate the classroom and send the message thatYour opinion is valued, your voice is heard and you value your presence.
Divide the class into four groups and assign each group a wall. Distribute materials such as markers, posters, tape, and graph paper. For a personal touch, have each group find a common goal they want to achieve in their class and summarize it in one word.
Then have students write their words in large letters on the graph paper, making sure that each group has a unique goal.
When class is over, post them on each designated wall and encourage your class to take responsibility for making sure everyone achieves the goals they have set for the end of the school year.
6. Questions "Would you rather?"
Guide, lead, and stimulate healthy debate among students.with a series of questions sure to get the classroom talking.
Consider some sample "would you rather" questions like:
- Do you prefer to play outside or inside?
- Would you rather see fireworks or a circus show?
- Would you rather go skiing or go to a water park?
- Would you rather have everything in your house one color or every wall and door a different color?
- Would you rather visit the International Space Station for a week or stay in an underwater hotel for a week?
To keep the class on the same level,Consider preparing a few questions about an expression like the following.
7. Group Contracts
Writegroup contractscontain the guidelines and have everyone sign them to encourage themeffective group work of the studentsjgood behavior in class.
Group contracts: an important feature ofcooperative learning– must be based on the expectations that students and teachers have of each other.
You can gather the class's thoughts by talking about what the ideal group member does and how they behave.After creating the contract, brainstorm with the students to think about the consequences of breaking expectations.
Image source:The creative and colorful classroom
for example in theflexible sittingprevious contract, the students undertake to use the learning room appropriately. If they break the contract, the students agree "that my teacher will transfer me to a place that better suits my needs".
8. Student surveys
Use surveys to gather and analyze information on a variety of topics that will help you get to know your new students and lead them to success this school year.
Consider asking questions about preferred seating arrangements, group work versus individual work, and classroom noise levels.
Use this information to get a better understanding of classroom trends. See if you can use the information to differentiate instruction, assessment, and assessment to improve the learning environment.
One ofQualities of a good teacheris the ability to use differentlyteaching strategies – especially those that address the unique learning preferences of different students.
For example, consider conducting a survey about how students enjoy learning and ask the following yes or no questions:
Commitment without end. Adaptive Content. Aligned to standards.
Join millions of teachers using Prodigy to make math and English fun, differentiate lessons, and help students love learning!
See how Prodigy works
9. Scavenger hunts in the classroom
Send your students on a classroom scavenger hunt,help them to get to know themselves and their new learning space.
Provide a printout of the lesson items to be found, leaving space for students to write a brief description of where they found each item.
Completed scavenger hunt sheets can serve as an easy reference tool for students during the first few weeks of school to ensure they know where to find everything in their classroom.
You can create the item list yourself or use a free printable version like the example below.
Image source:The creative and colorful classroom
10. Two truths and a lie
Encourage students to write three statements about themselves, one of which is false.
After giving students about five minutes to write their sentences, have them read them aloud one at a time and enjoy the conversation while their classmates try to guess which statement is a lie.
This activity also serves as an easy and early way to get an indicator of your new students' skills.: As your new students write their sentences, you can walk around and see which students need help and may need help with written communication.
As they read their sentences, you can also test their verbal communication skills.
Be sure to set an example for students by first sharing your two truths and one lie. Students always love to learn about their new teacher, too!
11th grade time capsule
Create customized time capsules on the first day of school. Fill them with items like personal letters about what students hope to accomplish during the school year.
The letters can include expectations, clubs they wish to join and desired grade point averages.
You can also take photos of your students on the first day, print them out and put them in the time capsules.
on the last day of schoolGive the time capsule back to each student and let them see how much they have learned.grew up, and achieved throughout the school year.
12. Great Thomas
Encourage students to think of an adjective to describe themselves. The adjective must be appropriate for the student and also begin with the first letter of their name, for example "Tall Thomas", "Funny Frankie" or "Smart Sam".
Encourage students to remember each name to add a skill test element to the activity.
Have the class stand in a circle, and then ask a student to name their new nickname. Then ask the next student to try saying the previous name before saying their own name.
Make sure the activity stays light-hearted and fun. Feel free to stand in a circle and join in the fun to interact more with your students!
13. Don't answer
Ask your class to stand in a circle. Have a student interact with another classmate and ask the other student a question about their personality. To help students understand, give some examples: "What's your stupidest habit?" or "What's your favorite hobby?"
Explain, however, that the student who isaskedThe question may not be answered, with the student on her left answering for her. Note that the answer does not have to be correct and that eachThe student can make their answers as imaginative or creative as possible.
14. Draw a self-portrait
Provide a self-portrait worksheet like the one below as an easy start of the year activity. When everyone is finished, have each student present their self-portrait to the class as a formal presentation to their peers and themselves.
15. Be unique
Have everyone stand in a circle. In turn, encourage each student to say something that they think is unique about them. For example, “My name is Jason and I have two brothers” or “...and I speak three languages.” If another student also has two siblings or speaks three languages, they must sit down.
The goal is to stay on your feet for as long as possible.and therefore share very special things about yourself that no one else embodies.
16. Six Word Story
Ask students to use just six words to explain what they did over the summer, write the statement as a complete sentence on a piece of paper.
Then have students exchange documents with a classmate, and have that colleague also add a comment that is just six words. You can rotate the papers to adjust the length of the story to your liking!
17. The question net
This activity helps students learn interesting facts about others. Have your students stand in a circle. Next, take a skein of yarn or twine and hold the end while you pass the skein to another student.
Ask this student an interesting question like "If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?"
When they have answered the question, ask them to pass the ball to another student in the circle and ask them a question. When all students have had a turn, explain that the web they create represents the uniqueness of your classroom and that their participation makes the classroom a special place for learning and creativity.
First day of school activity ideas for distance learning or social distancing
Create your own virtual background
If possible, have older studentsCreate your own virtual backgroundin any video conferencing tool you use. You can even adapt it to their favorite hobby, video game, book, movie, etc.
Create a Google Classroom banner quilt
Get your students collaborating on a blank GoogleQuilt square for digital classroomor add their names to a Google Classroombanner templatefor use in your traditional or online classroom.
Set up a fun Kahoot quiz
khu! is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play educational games or trivia quizzes in minutes. Whether you're taking the quiz about yourself, fun facts about your school or students, or even on-topic questions, your class will have a lot of fun.
Check out best practices for online learning
This doesn't scream "fun," but it's always a good reminder to review at the start of a school yearclass rules— especially with the challenges of online learning.
This could include things like online learning routines and procedures, how to get the teacher's attention, turning your camera or microphone on and off, changing video backgrounds, or anything else relevant to your particular class.
Final Thoughts: Activities on the first day of school
It's important to combine fun and friendliness with clear and firm expectations, so consider the first day of school your opportunity to prove your ability to engage in fun activities.jcleaned up.
See which activities on this list appeal to you the most and try them yourself for an unforgettable introduction to back to school!
And whether it's Prodigy Math or any of the other first day of school activities mentioned above, we encourage you to get involved too! Play with your students.
It's a perfect way for you to really learn about your new students and for them to learn more about you!
Prodigy Math makes it easy for students to engage with fun and adaptive math activities throughout the year.Get teacher differentiation, assessment, and data collection tools when you sign up for your free teacher account today!