First Week of School Activities
Are you worried about your first week of school activities? August is here, and a hint of Pumpkin Spice everything is in the air. Ok, maybe it’s too soon for PSL (or is it?), but back to school is upon us, and so is the scramble to set up your room, sit through all the PD, and then maybe you’ll have time to plan your first week of school activities.
That sounds like a whole lot of teacher tired, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. You deserve to enjoy back to school activities instead of pulling your hair out doing everything last minute while trying to remember your new students’ names.
So today, I’m giving you my 4 ways first weeks of school activities can help you build classroom community, and you’ll have a good time doing it.
1.Get to Know Your Students With First Week of School Activities
First day jitters are real for you and your students. The best way to loosen up the mood is to have students talk about something they are experts in…themselves! Of course, most of them are too scared just to stand up and start spilling their life stories. Use a 3 tiered approach to get them talking.
- Have them complete an About Me activity independently. This warms up students’ brains and gets them thinking about what they would like to share with the class. They also get to express themselves creatively with an About Me activity, and you know that’s so fun to watch! I like using these virtual About Me’s because it gives students a chance to refresh their technology skills in the classroom, or if they are virtual, it’s easy to access.
- Then, have students share with their partner to start to break the ice.
- Bring the partners up front to have them say what they learned about their partner. Hopefully, the ice will have, broken by this time.
2.Give Students Bonding Time
Let them chat it up! One of my favorite activities to get students talking to each other is to play Would You Rather? Don’t worry, I made these slides to keep the Would You Rathers appropriate, but still fun!
You will have a blast watching them light up with their answers, turn to their partners and share a story or laugh at each other’s answers.
3.Use Back to School Templates
Ok, I know you’re wondering, Melissa how will templates create a positive classroom community?
First of all, these back to school templates are super cute, and if I know teachers (I do), cute things make you happy. And when you’re happy, your class is happy!
My other reason is super practical. Templates give you a framework to plan with and work off of, think schedules, groups, and to-do lists. That takes the mental load off you and allows you to feel prepared and ready to have fun with your class.
If you want some Spring inspired templates check out this post!
4.Check-in With Your Students Daily
You know, building relationships with your students is a top priority during your first week of school activities. The foundation you build now will determine the rest of the year. That’s pretty important.
I love these daily check-in forms students can privately fill out in Google Classroom. As part of your first week of school, activities introduce the form and talk through how to answer the questions. Then, go through the process as a class a few times so students can feel comfortable using the correct language to communicate their feelings with you.
You’ll also have a record of how students feel so you know when to check in on them more often.
As the school year begins, take time for yourself. You have resources (I just gave you 4 of them!) to make planning WAY less stressful, so use them. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll enjoy your class so much more.
Here’s to another school year 🥂