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First Days of School Activities

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A collection of great Proteacher ideas to help everyone get through those first days of school with a smile.
First Couple of Weeks of School
Posted by:Becky #24510

Here are some things that I do the first couple of weeks as beginning of the school year activities:

***We make time capsules (a paper towel tube). We stuff is with a self-portrait, a writing sample and a writing prompt ("My favorite thing to do is....."). We attach a note that says "Do not open until June 22, 2002, or whatever the last day of school is. One the last day, they had so much fun looking at their handwriting from the first week of school.
***I used a large piece of oaktag to make a blank puzzle. The amount of puzzle pieces should be equal to how many kids there are in your class plus yourself. Give each child a piece and have them write their name on it and draw a few things that represent them. Once this is done, get together in a circle and put the puzzle back...

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first days of school
Posted by:Katy #58728

A 5th grade teacher at my school does an activity that I think is great and could be possible for 2nd. She makes silhouettes of students heads, they cut them out and then cut out pictures and words from magazines to fill them in with and the pictures and words represent who they think they are. She then mounts them and keeps them as a border around the room (up high)so they can reflect on them at the end of the year. You could also have them use mirrors and people color markers to make self-portraits, frame them and have them write goals around the frame. At back to school night, I've had parents at the end try to guess which self-portrait they think their child made and then they need to make their own self-portrait and the children try to guess the next day. This reminds...

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first days of school
Posted by:Rebecca #44236

I would let the students give suggestions for your class name. We usually choose one that starts with the same sound as the beginning of my last name (ex. Carter's Cool Cats, Ritter's Rockets, etc.) Then I list all the suggestions on the board and then we take a vote. Students write their favorite on a little slip of paper and turn it in to the basket. We then tally up the points on the board(math).

As far as first days activities I concentrate on learning the rules and community building. Here are some that I do.

We go over rules in the gym(early morning and assembly), schoolwide, classroom, cafeteria, playground. We discuss why rules are important. We act out scenarios, journal write, draw pictures, make a class book..all on rules.

One of the very first...

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1st days of school
Posted by:suzie #18606

A few things that seem to work for me...

I make a friendship web using yarn. We all get into a circle and each student states their name. (In my school, the students are fairly familiar with most of the other students, but may not remember their names). Then the game begins... I'll go first stating my name. Then, holding a portion of the yarn, I toss the ball across the circle calling out a student's name. That student must say my name, their name, then another student's name (who then will get the ball of yarn). That new student has to say my name, the 1st student's name, then their name. They then call out another name and throw the ball of yarn to that person. Each student continues in this way holding onto a part of the string before throwing it. In the end, they have...

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First Day of school
Posted by:Janet #30071

As you are trying to set the scene for the year to follow it is important to include all the stakeholders in your activities so..... invite parents, welcome year 1 students and students new to other year levels as well as celebrating the return of everyone else -- including STAFF!
I've had groups make up paper patchwork quilts using wrapping paper as the background for each segment and used lined paper (Yrs 2-7) and placing (YR1) and we have written a welcome to our school or a thank-you for letting me be part of our school (New kids) on the lined section.
The whole thing was then put on display in the library.
Take photos of all the kids - you'll need to have a couple of colour cartridges ready but if you put a few in the one picture it helps. Make the poses very...

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First Days
Posted by:KcK #114960

Two and half days or two half days? We start with two half days then come back the next week for full days. In those two days I:

*go over rules and consequences - I take pictures of the kids following the rules and fufilling the consequences (they love to role play breaking the rule) and then have them make the posters and add the pics.
*Getting to Know You Glyph necklace- this actually takes a bit
*Nametags- I make nameplates for our hallway board- I write their name in cursive on a sentence strip and then go over it with black marker. The kids use crayons to color pretty hard (for bright colors) all over the strip in whatever pattern they want. Then we go over their name with puffy paint. They make really cool nameplates to display their work in the hall.

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Activities for the first few days
Posted by:Robin #77703

Congratulations on getting fourth grade. It is my favorite grade to teach. I have several things I do the first week of school. The first day includes a lot of introductions, explanations, and talking. I try to break it up with several different activities.

1. When students arrive, I have a few directions on the board...what to do with materials, supplies, lunches, etc. At their seats are two pieces of paper. The first is a "Pop Quiz." It includes 10-15 True/False statements about myself. The other piece of paper is an interest inventory including likes, dislikes,
favorites, etc.

2. After we take care of some initial business, I go over the quiz. It is a fun way to tell the students about myself. The student who gets the most correct wins a pencil or piece of candy.

3. The day continues with some more...

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first days of school
Posted by:Gretchen #19724

I love to have the students interview each other using a Venn diagram graphic organizer. I give them a list of questions to get them started; how many brothers and sisters, favorite food, book or movie, etc. The things they have in common are written in the overlapping section while the unique qualities are in the individual sections. Next I have the pairs introduce eachother to the class using the organizer. They love it.

Instead of using the produced calendar dates, have a blank square on each student's desk. Ask them to design one of the days for the month. Use these instead.

Inside outside circle; Split the class into two groups. One group forms a shoulder to shoulder circle facing outward. The second group forms a circle facing inward. (one to one with the inner circe) Have them shake hands and ask the outer circle to...

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First days
Posted by:Susan/5th #46666

Relax, Jay - I think we all feel overwhelmed right before school starts. I know I did!! We've been in school over a week now, and these are some things that made the transition easier:

1. Have nametags on desks so students know where to sit. Have their first assignment on the board and ask them to begin working. Explain that you'll instruct them what to do with their bookbags in a little while. The assignments can be information sheets, etc... I had a piece of notebook paper on each desk and told them to write me a letter and tell me about themselves, their families, etc... It helped me see their writing ability as well as know more about them.

2. After most students were finished, I went over some general procedures (quiet when I'm talking, what to do to begin the day, etc...)....

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"fifth grade first two days"
Posted by:Tabitha #18555

This will be my third year teaching fifth grade. I always have a goodie bag on their desk, a puzzle welcoming them (they have to put it together to find the message), and an interview paper that they have been assigned to interview each other at their tables. I also have a letter from last years students on their desks for them to read. Then their is a writing assignment on the board first thing with of course a welcoming message from me. This gives me time to get morning routines done. Then we introduce each other.
This year I am going to have them in groups come up with three questions for me to answer about me. Then each table will get a chance to ask me the three questions. This will give me a quick idea of how they will work together at each group and who I...

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1st days
Posted by:Susan #76294

Of course, procedure, procedure, procedure. There are no questions about what is expected of them by the end of the 2nd week. Mingled in with teaching procedures, I do the following:
1. They write a letter to me, telling me about themselves, their family, etc... Shows me their writing ability and insight into their homelife.
2. Crossword puzzle with the procedures on it.
3. They bring in one item that tells about themselves - they get 1 minute to speak, then the class can ask questions about them.
4. People Bingo - where the kids have to find people on their paper that matches it (someone wearing earrings, someone with 1 sister, etc...).
5. Team brainstorming - put them into teams and give them scenerios to see how they'd handle situations (for ex: your team is going to recess soon. What games can you play so...

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First Days of School
Posted by:Robin #11685

I like to use a lot of good children's literature. I like the books of P.K. Hallinan (My Teacher's My Friend) and Nancy Poydar's First Day Hooray. The children and I use them to discuss our joys and expecations about second grade. I also do a bulletin board activity called "Heard it Through the Grapevine!". Each child draws a picture of something they heard and/or would like to learn or do in grade 2. They also write a sentence for their picture, and I type it to fit on the grape.Then, I arrange their individual grapes into a bunch. It's fun to look at how their artwork and expectations change from the beginning of the year to the end. We also do self-portraits and some writing about ourselves and our likes and interests. Mailbox and Carson Delosa publish excellent activity books for the different months and...

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first days
Posted by:Karen #60934

I put my students into pairs for the purpose of interviewing each other. They are given a sheet of questions to ask each other.(hobbies,favorite vacation,pets,number in family etc.) Then they each take the responses and turn them into an introduction. It takes a couple of days to get this done. When everyone is ready, (around day 3), they take turns introducing each other. The person being introduced sits on a stool in front of the class, while their partner reads the introduction. This activity has been quite a hit!

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First Day Jitters...
Posted by:teachermlb #141237

I read my students the book First Day Jitters. It's a cute picture book where someone is very scared to go to a new school and it turns out to be the teacher instead of a student. Even my middle school kids love listening to picture books.

I tell them what gives me "jitters" on the first day of school. Then I have them write me a paragraph on their first day jitters. I give them no instructions on how to write the paragraph - they just write. This way I can see if they indent, capitalize, etc.

It's a good judge of their abilities.

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Some ideas
Posted by:msharkey #140998

In the past I've done these. Not sure what I'll do this year. And by the way, I still playing with playdough and I'm 41 years old.

Had the kids work on a BB display (like paper T-Shirts or fish_ - whatever my "Welcome Board" is -
Coloring sheets
Draw a picture of what they did over summer vacation
Draw me a picture of your favorite thing to do.Ooooooo - just had a brainstorm for the playdough idea. How about having the kids "cut out" the letters in their name with the playdough. A few years ago, I purchased a tin of cookie cutter letters and I have my own children use them at home with playdough.

Just thinking... the first week of school we focus on how our names are the same and different. Maybe I can give each child a...

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