Are you getting ready for the first day of school? Well, trying to decide what to do the first day can be daunting. I include five things that ensure my students start the year off correctly and I have a grasp on things.
Get to know you
All of us want to get to know our kiddos. I use to have the students read a letter about myself and then they would write a letter back to me. But in the last few years, I have been using this About Ms. Jackson’s sheet. It is easy to read and the students have one to fill out about themselves too. For the students, I have again because half my class loops with me, I have the same information sheet, but there are blanks that they try to fill in. It is fun to see what they already know about me and what they can’t remember.
Engaging activities for the students
I want the first day to be memorable and have students wanting to come back day after day. So, I usually include an activity or two that is fun, gets the students up and out of their seats and incorporates teamwork. One of my favorites is a Riddle Me activity where students go to ten stations around the room to answer questions and receive letters for each correct answer. The letters then spell out the answer to a riddle. They work together in partners.
Review classroom rules
I like to cover the rules and expectations of the classroom on the first day. This past year, I played the Headbands Game to introduce behaviors students should do in class. The students had to describe one of the behaviors that were on their partner’s foreheads so the partner could guess the behavior. The students had a great time!
Begin lessons that will be displayed at Back to School Night
Some schools have Back to School Night before school starts, but my school has it the second week of school. There is also pressure to have student workup for that night. Therefore, I hit the ground running and start at least one item on the first day of school to display that night. Last year, students were “Stars of Ms. Jackson”. We did this great star art project by Cassie Stephens. They turned out amazing!
Finally, I always give one of my pre-assessments on the first day. I have several to do, but I usually do one of the reading assessments which can be done with the whole group. It is a closed activity called the McCloud. Then I will use the results to help me with my other two reading assessments that are done individually.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will be helpful for your first day of school. I hope you have a great start in your new year!