As we hit the Back to School season, it’s time to start planning for that first week. It is important for the first week to engaging, content-related, and provide an opportunity to practice setting classroom routines.
You want the year to start in an engaging way because you want the students to look forward to learning with you, but you also want to start with something content-related because you want the students to know your class will always be focused on the standards and curriculum.
A few fun Back to School Ideas:
- Digital Back to School Escape Room
A Digital Escape Room is a fun way to get students to collaborate and enjoy the first day while still focusing on ELA content. This will also allow you to practice routines with groups, using computers/Chromebooks/devices in the classroom, and following directions.
Some Back to School Escape Rooms I have:
- Creative Writing Activity
One great way to start the year is with a creative writing activity. This gives the students an opportunity to get creative on Day 1, gives you an idea of where they are as writers, and allows for the implementation of multiple standards being introduced at the start of the year. A few of my favorite creative writing activities are personal narratives, having students write from a different perspective, and creative poetry writing.
A Few Creative Writing Activities I have:
- Personal Narrative Writing Set (everything needed to write a personal narrative)
- Narrative Writing Graphic Organizers (G.O.s to help set up narrative writing)
- Survival Stories – Writing from a Different Perspective
- Back to School Poetry: I Am, Where I’m From, Beanie Baby Poetry
- Digital Sort Activities
Digital sort activities are super easy to prep, provide an engaging activity for students, and allows you to determine the students’ understanding of concepts. They make perfect formative assessments that are still highly engaging.
A Few Fun Digital Sort Activities I have:
- Types of Sentence Digital Sort
- Figurative Language Sort Activity
- Nonfiction Text Structure Sort Activity
- Sentence Structure Digital Sort
- Character Building Activities
Starting the year with a character-building activity is a great way to establish the culture you want from the beginning. I am a big believer that you cannot hold students to an expectation or behavior that you have not taught or modeled. By starting the year with a character building activity, you are modeling and teaching the students the expectation.
A Few Fun Character Building Activities I have:
- Kindness Activity Set
- Growth Mindset Activity Set
- Growth Mindset Poster Set – These could make great discussion prompts
As you decide on how to start the school year, I hope you remember to have fun. The start of the school year can be highly stressful, but we don’t want to let that take away the fun it can also be. It’s when we get to meet our new darlings for the year, and we want to make sure they look forward to coming to school each day.
Happy First Week of School Planning!
PS – If you’re looking for some fun Back to School ideas for teachers, check out this blog post!