Aah! Summer's almost over! Sorry, but it is. If you're like me, you're just starting to gear up for another great year of teaching with a new group of students. You might also be looking back fondly on last year's group of students and wondering how the new ones can possibly stack up. Or, maybe you're grateful to be done with last year's group and hopeful that this year's bunch will be much better. Either way, that first day is coming and it's coming fast!
So, what do you do with a new class of 30 or so strangers whose names you probably don't know? Here are my four favorite first day activities to get the school year off to a great start!
1) Getting to Know You Cards. This is a task card activity that gives your new students specific prompts and rules for how to talk with each other. This activity also works well for when you re-group your students and they have to get used to working with a different group of people.
2) Two Truths and a Lie. In this game, a student tells their table partners three things about themselves, but one of the things isn't true. The partners then guess which one is the lie and rotate turns.
3) Wheel of You. Students are given a handout of a circle divided into a bunch of sections with questions like, "What's your favorite color?" or "What's your favorite class?" or "What's your biggest strength?" on it. The students fill them out and turn them in, or use them as group discussion prompts.
4) Hashtag Game. Ask for volunteers to share hashtags about good or bad things about summer or school like #sleepingin or #sunburns or #homework or #newfriends. You record them on the board and ask follow up questions as necessary.
Click the picture below for these great activities. Try some out and let me know how it went in the comments section, or share your own favorites. Good luck, and have a great year!
I'm a 14 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.