Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fun & Creative Ideas for the First Days of School

The Back to School “hustle and bustle” can drive a teacher crazy if they’re not prepared! That’s why I try to get an early start in organizing activities for the first week of school. Below are a few ideas for both the first day of school and the days to follow.

This Back to School coloring page is perfect for the first day of school! NO PREP is needed, just print enough copies for the class and place one on each desk. Students can work on this art piece while everyone is slowly trickling in and getting settled. The final products will be beautiful to display at Open House or Meet the Teacher. (Appropriate for 3rd grade and up. A simpler copy is included for younger grades or special needs.)

"Know" One Like Me is the next activity I enjoy using in my class. Not only does it give me the chance to get to know each of my students, but it also allows my class to get to know each other. What I love most about this project is the lesson that I try to drive home. I explain to my kiddos that when we're all finished with our dodecahedrons, there won't be two alike. That's because everyone is special and unique in their own way! Click on the image to obtain the template and instructions.

"Know" One Like Me!

Once the ice breaker activities and classroom expectations have taken place, I get into high gear with activities that will help close those gaps from the summer slide. Although the typical ‘drill & kill’ worksheets can be helpful, my students often find them to be boring. And to be quite honest, I find them boring to grade. I want to set a good first impression that our class is going to be unique, fun and creative! Below are a few activities that will help refresh the previous year’s math skills and are different from the traditional worksheet. 

1  1. Find Someone Who – This is a great review that gets kids out of their desks and collaborating! You may have heard of the ice breaker version of Find Someone Who, this is very similar except that it incorporates math content rather than ‘get to know you’ questions. Kids love being able to walk around the room and work with their peers. Check out the directions and see a preview by clicking on the desired grade level below the image.

1  2. Math Mazes – My students LOVE these! They are super engaged through the whole handout in hopes to navigate through the maze successfully by correctly solving the math review problems. My favorite part of this assignment is that it is self-checking because it doesn’t take long for them to find out if they have made a mistake. Click on the desired grade level below the image for more details.

1  3. Back to School Funnies – Why did the teacher wear sunglasses? Because her students were very bright! It makes me smile to hear my students’ chuckle as they solve these back to school themed jokes. Each multiple choice answer gives them a word in the answer to the joke. You’ll know right away whether or not they missed a problem and which problem it was. This information will help you customize your small groups.

Save over 30% by purchasing the entire bundle of Back to School activities!

What are some fun and creative ideas you have planned for the first days of school? Please share in the comments below. 

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Special thanks to Kari B. Camp for the link up!

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