I've finally let reality kick in that the first day of school will be here before I know it. I am slowly crawling out of my summer slump of sleeping in late and laying around all day. Now I'm getting back to the work grind and preparing activities and data sheets to be ready for the first week of school.
I'm not sure who is more nervous on the first day of school; the students or myself. You only have that first few hours to make a first impression which can base your classroom atmosphere for the rest of the year.
During those first few hours, I try to make my classroom feel as much like home and a family as possible. I want my students to get to know me as I get to know them. Also, I want my students to get to know one another and realize that every person in our class has something special to add to our little family.
Today I am putting together several activities for those first few important hours:
1. Get to Know the Teacher Power Point- I created a power point last year with my hometown, college, family, favorite sports team, favorite food, favorite movie/book, etc. This year I'm just going to change up a few things... such as I prefer Diet Coke to Cheerwine nowadays. The students loved the PowerPoint last year and after we finish with it, I allow the students to ask any other questions that they are curious about... except "are you single/married?" and "how old are you?"
2. Classroom Tour- I've got my destination planned out, now all I have to do is write up a tour guide for the students to follow along. I love acting like we are going on an adventure and I am the tour guide. Students follow along on their sheet to see where each location is and what they are to do at each location.
3. Textbook Scavenger Hunt- It can be rather intimidating to receive a stack of huge text books on the first day of school. To ease this panic, each student receives a scavenger hunt that leads them to find different elements of each textbook. Examples: Science Vocabulary Index, Reading Contents page, Social Studies Chapter Titles and text boxes, etc.
4. Autograph Mingle- Students receive a checkerboard of details that could describe a person. They are to silently (key) walk around the room and find someone who matches each description and have they autograph their checkerboard. Each student can only sign another student's paper once. First student to have all squares signed wins! Examples of descriptions: Right handed, From another country, Sings in a choir, etc
5. "School Name" I Have, Who Has- Students are each given a card with a sentence on it. (make sure you have only enough cards for each student to have one) The student holding the card with the star on it stands up and reads their card first. Then the student with the answer to that person's question on their own card will then stand and read their card. Example: Student 1- "Who has the name of our school?" Student 2- "I have ________. Who has the name of our principal?"