Start the Year Off Right
5 Winning first day activities
Teachers take your mark, get set, go! By the time the beginning of August rolls around, the race is on to get everything ready for that first day of the new school year. Most importantly, it's time to finalize your first day lesson plans. Choose activities that keep the tone fun and light, encourage interaction between students, and of course accomplish your key objectives. Still looking for that last idea or two… or even five? Here you go:
Follow Friendly Rules
Discuss "being a good friend" with students as you introduce your class rules. Then, have groups of students play some short games Simple games, such as tri-FACTa that target quick facts (numbers, letters, operations, or words) are usually good bets. Give each group a copy of the class rules and ask students to review it throughout game play to ensure that everyone is being a good friend. Friendly game play requires students to be respectful, take turns, and practice good sportsmanship overall.
Take a Talkin' Tour
Get students up and moving around the room to learn where everything is. At important locations (attendance check-in station, pencil sharpener, homework inbox, and more), place small audio buttons like the Talk Point. Record short instructions on the Talk Point™ that explain how you would like students to contribute to managing those areas of the classroom. As students tour the room, they can press each button to hear how the classroom works.
Quiz a Buddy and Buzz
Have students write down the answers to 10 questions about themselves and then pair up with a buddy. (The questions should be simple facts, such as favorite color, middle name, or favorite holiday.) Give each pair of students a Lights & Sounds buzzer. Each student takes turns reading aloud his/her questions, and the buddy gets three chances to guess correctly. The guesser gets to press the zany buzzer for each right answer. The whole class will be laughing as they hear the funny sounds throughout the room… all while learning about one another!
Interview the "Teach"
All of your new students are curious to learn more about you! Have the whole class quickly brainstorm a list of questions they would like you to answer. Then, ask for a volunteer to interview you at your desk one-on-one while using an audio recorder such as the Easi-Speak Pro USB Recorder to capture your answers. Reveal your answers by playing a portion/different track of the recording each day of the first week.
Sometimes students are too shy to approach you with their questions on the first day. So at the end of the day, have them write journal entries to express what excites and/or worries them about your classroom. Students who are not yet able to write can communicate their ideas through drawings.
For Your Classroom
- Classroom Activities
Tips for Your Classroom
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- Overcoming Common Core Fears
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- Start the Year Off Right
- Build a Strong and Successful Common Core Classroom
- Tips and Tools to Help Your Students
- Simple Technology Activities
- Learning At Home
- Thinking About Critical Thinking
- Autism in the Classroom
- Tips for Intervention's "First Responders"
- Decorating Your Classroom
- Using Manipulatives in Reading Intervention
- Help ELLs See the Big Picture
- Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives
- Embrace Technology for Assessment
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