The purpose of this post is to share with you a collection of some practical back to school activities to use with your students especially during the first week of school. For each of these activities I come up with web tools and apps that can help you best attain your teaching goals.
1- Time capsule
Get students to create individual time capsules where they outline their goals for the whole school year. Students can add images and other multimedia materials to their time capsules using tools such as Google Docs, Sheets, Pages, Book Creator, Word., among others. Collect finalized capsules from students and save them in a folder till the last day of school and reopen the folder and allow students to reflect on their goals.
2- Learn students names and pronounce them correctly
Learning to pronounce students names correctly is the first important step towards creating lasting bonds with students, bonds that foster a sense of community in class and subsequently enhance students engagement in the learning process. One of the best ways to learn students names and pronounce them correctly is by having them say their names outloud using tools such as Mote and Edpuzzle.
For instance, students can use the new audio response feature in Edupuzzle to speak their names. There are also several other audio feedback tools they can use in this regard. Alternatively, they can use tools such as Flipgrid (Matthew Hains tip ) or Wevideo to record videos introducing themselves. Students share their individual audio/video responses with the whole class.
3- Classroom agreement
Another practical activity to do in the first day of school is to work with students to brainstorm ideas for a classroom agreement. I like the notion of classroom agreement instead of classroom rules as the earlier involves a participatory and student-centred approach.
Basically, the agreement outlines clearly the dos and don’ts you and your students agree upon to help create an optimal learning environment in class. The final draft can be designed in the form of a classroom poster to be printed and hang up on the classroom wall or uploaded to the class website or blog. Tools to use for this purpose include Canva, PiktoChart, Google Draw, Adobe Spark, among others.
4- Read a book
You can start off your first day of school by assigning students books designed specifically for this event. I have curated this list of excellent first day-of-school books that you can use with your students in class. Check it out.
5- Back to school worksheets
This is a collection featuring a wide variety of printable back to school worksheets to use in your class. These worksheets offer tons of school ideas and activities from getting to know me activities to find a friend games, you will definitely not run short of ideas to employ during those first days of the new school year.
7 Great Activities for the First Day of School (Scholastic)
20 First-Day-of-School Traditions Your Students Will Love (We Are Teachers)
17 Fun First Day of School Activities to Try (Prodigy Game)