July 17, 2013

1st Day of School Activities...FREEBIE

Even with my high schoolers, I like to do First Day of School Activities...don't want to overwhelm/scare them too much the first day :) Last year I only did one activity and then read the syllabus and went over rules, blah blah. And I felt like that's what they students felt like...blah. So this year I'm going to do two activities on the first day, and then go over the syllabus at the very end.

The first activity I'm going to share is a new one. We did something similar at our back to school staff meeting last year, but I didn't do it with my class. This year, I'm tweaking it a bit, and playing a game with it: Find Someone Who...BINGO.

Students will get five minutes to fill out the 16 spaces on their BINGO card with the choices provided on the page. There are more than 16 choices, some more plausible than others, so it could involve some strategy and quick thinking. Then, they will all stand up and mingle [may even take them outside], and the first person to fill out all 16 square with their classmates' names [BINGO Blackout], will win a prize. I'll probably do a round two. I may also then have students raise their hands for certain choices like, "Who is someone who slept past 2pm one day this summer?" Could be fun!

Here is the FREE Bingo Card, downloadable at my TPT Store.



Activity #2
The next activity I have done before, but the kids liked it so I'm going to do it again this year: Name Acronyms. It's fun because the students get to be creative with their name, but then we also use that to help us memorize their names. We take the first letter of their name, and whatever they used as the first word, and that becomes their name! So I'm "Ms. Wolters"...and let's say I wrote Magical for the 'M' in Ms. Wolters...my name in the class would be Magical Ms. Wolters. The kids laughed and LOVED it. Seriously. And we all knew each others' names within a few days. Really helps build community in the classroom. 

There's no template for this because the kids just write their first name down the left-hand side of the page, and then create words for their letters. I bust out the crayons and colored pencils and markers....like it's Kindergarten again :)


Here's the one I made last year as an example to show the students:



Hope these are some fun ideas for you!!! What do you guys do on the first day? Since it's still summer I might like one of your ideas better and change my mind!!! :) Please share!

14 comments:

  1. I usually have them fill out a survey I've created (favorites, books they liked/didn't like, what they hope to learn this year, what they like/don't like about English, and so on), then I administer a "pop quiz" (worth "one hundred points" haha) where they have to answer true/false questions about me. I love the anxiety in their eyes when they first hear quiz and then the relief that it's not what they think. Instead of doing a regular survey this year, I might have them fill out a modified Facebook profile page to make it more interesting (I think I got this idea from reading your blog).

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    1. Yeah, I used to do surveys too. But now there's a bunch of info in the online grading system, and so I use the first day of school, and the whole year actually, to get to know them through games, making connections to the sports they play, etc. I think the Facebook profile idea is great!!! You should totally do it! :)

      Stephanie

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    2. Do you by chance have a link to a survey that you use? This will be my first "first day of school." :) Love all of these ideas! Thanks!

      Carrie

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    3. I do! It's up on my TPT page as a freebie. it's the Information Sheet that is one of my 4 featured products :)

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  2. Despite being my second year teaching, this is going to be my first, first day of school! I was hired a month into the school year, so I just jumped in and started teaching right away. I'm so nervous for my first day and its in two weeks!!! I'm thinking of doing the Bingo, but also doing an interest survey so I can figure out my student's interests. Still trying to figure out my plan though...

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    1. Do both! No law says you have to choose. I would even have a third or fourth option in case things go quicker than planned, or they're not talky...Always good to have extras :) Good luck!!!

      Stephanie

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  3. Like the acrostic poems and don't forget to throw in the word alliteration :)

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    1. Love me some alliteration!!!!!! :-)

      Steph

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  4. Thanks for the ideas. I am in a small school and the majority of students have gone to school together since kindergarten. But I'm going to use these to see if we can't know each other better!

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    1. Our school is kind of like that too...but we get new kids every year so why not? :)

      Stephanie

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  5. I'm loving your blog:) The design is great, light hearted and fun! I'm looking forward to following it!

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    1. Yay! Thanks for following! I'm going to answer your email tomorrow :)

      Stephanie

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  6. I do a signature scavenger hunt, similar to your bingo. Here is the link for the worksheet in google docs, but it really should be on one page. https://docs.google.com/document/d/10byjo4RKT2kKeSjzYTxnawRLoydoGbMvlcimRb1qXys/edit?usp=sharing

    P.S. I love your TpT products!

    Follow Dava Smith English Teacher on BlogLovin’

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    1. Yeah they totally look similar! I was going to have the kids sign their names on the line in the box too. Very cool!

      Stephanie

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