I get SO excited about heading back to school! It is a fresh start and a new opportunity. I LOVE getting to know my kids and getting them excited for the school year. To kick off, we spend some time playing games. Yes, games! This gets kids moving, allows them to have fun, and really bonds us as a group while we get to know each other. Check out some of my faves!
Find Someone Who
To play this game, you don’t need a lot of materials! To get started, you will set a timer for 15-20 minutes and have students walk around with the Find Someone Who Sheet Freebie. They must try to find classmates who match the description in each box. They must write their classmate’s name correctly in the box; this means they will need to ask for it!
When the time is up, students count up how many boxes they filled in. I always find the kid who filled in the most boxes and then I have the class give him/her a standing ovation. In that moment you are establishing how you reward hard work. They LOVE this!
Taco ‘bout the Teach
You want to establish trust and community with your students. In order for them to trust you and (I’ll just say it) like you, they need to get to know you. I created a Taco Scavenger Hunt called Taco ’bout the Teach. I created a sheet with questions about me. I then wrote the answers on cards and hid them around the room by tapping them on the walls and such. First I give students 5-8 minutes to try to guess the answers. Then I give them 15-20 minutes to walk around the room finding the correct Taco card that has the answers. It is funny to hear their reactions to some of the questions!
When time is up, I call them back over to the carpet and I ask them what most surprised them. We talk about things we have in common and things that they thought were “cool.” It is amazing what this does for our classroom culture!
That’s Me Game
My kids LOVE this game and it gets them really tired and worn out!! Students squat down to the ground and stay there. I call out different identifying facts such as, “I am the oldest.” “I am the youngest.” “I love pizza.” “I have a dog.” etc. If that describes them, they will jump up quickly and yell, “That’s Me!” and then they immediately squat back down. This is really cool for me to learn some things very quickly about the class. And you can imagine how it gets them tired– a major teacher win!
Misadventure 1: Save Fred
Fred decided to try whitewater rafting on the Eagle River in Colorado and his raft tipped over! His life vest slipped off and now Fred is stuck on top of the capsized raft! He needs to get his life vest because he can’t swim! He’s a worm for goodness sake, not a fish!
Fred the Worm is on top of the cup and the life vest is under the cup. Students can only use two paperclips to put the life vest onto Fred. They cannot use their hands to touch anything but the paper clips! My kids love this activity and continue talking about it throughout the week as we complete three more STEM activities with Fred. Check it out!
Looking for more activities for the first day back? Check this out!
DM me on Instagram @thatteachingspark or tag me in a picture to show how you and your students are enjoying your first days together.