Back To School Season

It’s Back to School Season and that means new books, new supplies, new faces, and new learning opportunities. Although we have different start dates around the country, we find ourselves looking for new ways to enhance our beginning of the school year. 

Certain things remain the same at the beginning of the school year like sharpening pencils, crayon boxes, setting up the classroom. As teachers we are always looking for fun activities that will help our students build community, feel welcomed and excited to be at school. 

These activities and resources can help create a welcoming classroom environment, setting a positive tone for the school year. I hope you enjoy these ideas and share what worked or what you would do differently. 

1. All About Me // Todo Sobre Mi

Getting to know your students. This would be a great activity to use as the first week of homework. If you are teaching younger grades you would simply send it home and have grown ups help them. When students turn them in, make time during your classroom meetings to talk about the posters to showcase students and so others can get to know them. You can also display them in your classroom for others to see. 

2. Student Name, Picture & Songs

Another Back To School activity you can use, are these editable slides to sing a song during circle time or morning meeting time. All you have to do is take pictures of your students and upload them to the slides. I usually sing the song in the morning during our morning meeting time “Good Morning to you, Good Morning to you, Good Morning to Gaby, Good Morning to you!” (Using the tune to “Happy Birthday to You”).  You can always change the lyrics to fit the time of day you actually have your classroom meeting. I would change the lyrics to: “Hello To You, Hello To You, Hello To Gaby, Hello To You!” 

3. Story Time Circle

Read a story about friendship or community (such as “The Rainbow Fish” or “The Kissing Hand”). Discuss the story and relate it to how they can be good friends in the classroom. There are so many beginning of the school year Read Aloud Picture Books you can choose from. Books like, “The Night Before Kindergarten”, to “First Day Jitters” or go with community building books like “Our Class is a Family”. What you discuss after you read these books is so important to help students learn about respect, responsibility and safety. I have always liked books that give kids an opportunity to come up with classroom rules together, that teach empathy towards others, and books about boundaries. With your guidance, this activity will help students start on a positive tone for the school year.  

4. Ice Breaker // Rompehielo

Ice Breakers are a great way to get to know your students. If you have ever seen the Youtube videos with the This or That Videos, you know that students are presented two choices. They pick one item that they like and then they perform an exercise. I use these types of activities at the beginning of the school year to see what they like and also throughout the school year as a Brain Break. Check out the Presentation for Google Slides that I created at my TpT store below.



5. Class Rules & Goal Setting 

This is what you need: poster paper and markers. To help students get their minds warmed up for this idea, I recommend reading “Rules in Class”. Talk about what is important in the classroom as a classroom rule. Some of the rules that I have used before are: Safety First, Make friends and be kind, Always use your good manners, Remember your bubble of space and try your best. For goal setting you can do something similar and have students share out what goals they would like to accomplish. It is best to come up with a list as a whole group. Then, as a whole group, have students share their goals for the school year.

They could be academic or personal goals for the year. You can help students with brainstorming some goals. Goal ideas: write my first and last name, learn to count to 100, learn to tie my shoes. For independent practice you can have a goal setting half sheet for students to illustrate their goal. If they can write words, they can write a sentence about their goals.

6. Getting to Know You Chants

Try this chant, “We think our class is very sweet, my name is Gaby, Who else will we meet?” You can post it on a google slide or write the chant on sentence strips. Have each student move their name to the sentence strip that says “My name is ___”. See picture below.

7. Pass the Ball

Sit in a circle and pass a ball around. The person with the ball shares something about themselves. You can provide kids with a topic and then pick a student as a starting point. The topics could be: My favorite color, My favorite food at lunch, My favorite toy, or My favorite part of the school day.

8. Getting to Know You Activities

Classroom Interviews: Pair students up to interview each other with simple questions like the ones on the flash cards below. Students can trade cards with other students and find a new partner to ask the new question. A great way to have students practice their conversation skills in Spanish. Click the picture to get your copy below.

9. Me Bags

Have students bring in a small bag with a few items that represent themselves and share with the class. You can also use this idea throughout the year if you celebrate a star student of the week. It gives peers an opportunity to ask the star questions. Students have fun sharing things they like. 

These activities will help young students feel connected to their peers and comfortable in their new classroom, setting a positive tone for the school year.

What are some of your favorite Back To School Resources and Activities? Share your ideas below! 

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