It’s back to school season! I know, summer went by way too fast, but while we reminisce about our toes in the sand, let’s also get ready to put on our teacher shoes for the first day of class. Here are five of my favourite items and activities to start the school year off right!
Icebreaker activities help to do just that – break the ice! It is essential to help students feel comfortable and included on the first day, and if you can have fun while you’re at it – bonus! Icebreaker activities also help to build classroom community and help you to get to know your students as well as help your students to get to know each other.
One icebreaker I’m excited to use this fall is Would You Rather. These slides can be used as a daily or weekly bellringer activity, or used in one shot as a fun icebreaker game.
The great thing about Would You Rather is that it can generate discussion amongst the class, or you can ask students to use the slides as writing prompts if they are more tentative to speak up in class. Both are great options to get to know your new kiddos.
Finding good classroom clipart can be a challenge. Instead of scouring a search engine for the exact piece you need for your handouts, slides, or labels, check out the School Supply Clipart from Mochas and Markbooks. There’s a little bit of everything you’ll need for all the teachery things. Plus, there is a “fillable” Rae Dunn inspired teacher mug where you can add all the flair pens and pencils to your heart’s content!
Let’s face it, students don’t always arrive to class ready to learn, or on time for that matter, so bellringer activities are a great way to use the first bit of class to help students find their thinking caps.
Two bellringer activities my students love are Songs for Social Change and Songs to Explore Identity. Both of these resources require students to listen to and watch a music video while responding to questions that will expand their thinking on topics related to social justice and identity respectively.
Starting class with a song and reflection is also a great way to ease into the learning for students that thrive on routine and a calming atmosphere.
Agenda slides are truly a teacher’s bestie. They will help you and your students stay on track during class and serve as a visual reminder of what should be accomplished each day. You can keep a running record of your agenda slides in your Google Classroom or online learning platform for students and parents to refer back to as well.
If you are looking for slides to help you out this year, this Classroom Slides bundle contains not only daily and weekly agenda slides, but also schedule slides, activity instruction slides, holiday greetings, and subject transition slides!
Stations are a great way to set a positive tone on the first day of class and provide useful activities that aren’t overly intimidating!
Stations will give you creative options to cover all of the first day housekeeping items like your syllabus and classroom rules in a much more engaging way.
If you’d like to check out the stations I use on the first day, you can grab the FREEBIE here for Growth Mindset Learning Stations.
Have a great first day!