First Day Of School Tips and Traditions
13 January 2020 - 5 min Read

The first day of school is always a fun and nervous time for both the students and the TEACHER! It can be especially nerve racking for new teachers. You have this class full of little people staring wide eyed at you and you think 'arghhh what next' 🙈🤣 ⠀

Last year we put a call out to our amazing followers to share the love and their first day secrets and tips! Here are some of the tips to make your first day memorable for all the right reasons!

  1. Ice Breaker Games and Get To Know You Activities
  • This was so popular we have a WHOLE blog next on Ice Breaker Games but the main advice was to get your students moving and lots of oral language games! If possible including some fitness games outside too. Keep your eyes peeled for this one
  1. Take/draw a Selfie
  • I always take each student’s picture. We compare them at the end of the year-and they grow so much!
  • take a photo of them with a first day of “insert year”. It breaks the ice, gets them smiling and laughing. Then at the end of the year I take another photo and for their end of year gift I put both photos together in a frame for them. They love seeing how much they have grown (physically and in their learning)
  • I take selfies (funny or serious) with them and these are displayed on a bulletin board all year. They really enjoy these.
  • We take an individual photo and group photo!

  1. Create a Time Capsule
  • This will be only be my second year but it was a hit. Time capsule, measure height, trace feet, faves and of course a picture. They loved opening them at the end of the year!

  1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
  • In my class, I do a scavenger hunt of my rules and procedures where they find them around my room instead of me talking about it on a PPT.
  • A scavenger hunt of the school. Find gingerbread man. Give all the classes/teachers we’ll see through the year a clue get to know the building... (librarian,music, ,office)
  1. Get to Know the Teacher Activities
  • Talk about your family, pets, favourite hobbies. The students are always enthralled and ask a hundred questions. It’s a good ice breaker!
  • Do a ‘get to know the teacher’ quiz
  • I always do an ‘All about me’ PowerPoint for the kids so they know a bit about me. Then I get them to do an ‘All about Me’ sheet.
  • I have my kids from last year fill out a sheet introducing me and I don’t read them until I share them with my new class. I love seeing what they say.

  1. Name Activities
  • I Always do a word search with students’ names. This gives them something to do while parents and other students are flooding into the room and combats anyone not knowing what to do.
  • Creating their own name tag for their bag hook. Rather than prepare by laminating one for them I just have a template and they can personalise it. Easy and fun quick thing to do.
  • I do a name game. They have to find an adjective with the first letter of their name and it goes around the room and everyone has to remember the names before them. It helps me remember everyone better!

  1. First Day Books
  • Read Kissing Hand book & discuss feelings.
  • Serving Jitter Juice and reading First Day Jitters!
  • Oh The Places You’ll Go and activities

  1. Goal Setting/Expectations
  • ‘Our focus for day 1 will be on kindness. We are going to find different quotes on kindness and then choose one which will be our class motto for the year!’
  • I have them make a trophy that they would like to earn by the end of the year. It needs to have a fear or obstacle that they want to overcome and at least 2 other strengths that they want to have the world know they possess. It is amazing to see them reflect and immediately set goals to EARN that trophy.
  1. Special Teacher Tricks
  • As a Kindergarten teacher I keep a supply of bubbles on hand as they have a calming effect, are great for bringing a group together and who doesn’t love bubbles? I also have a box of tissues and a few special toys of mine ready to be hug toys.
  • I make weather sensory bottles and emotion sensory bottles with them. It’s a great introduction to part of our classroom calendar and our calm space. Everyone gets a turn of putting something in the bottles and they are completely mesmerised by how they look at the end and can’t wait for a turn to shake them!

  1. Welcome Gifts
  • I always have a welcome gift with their name on it. This year it is a colourful pencil with and animal eraser top. They can take it home or have it at school.
  • Each child gets a ball of white play doh that secretly has food colouring inside. Let the children explore with it and tell them that if their play doh changes colour they will have a great year 😃

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their fantastic tips with us! We hope everyone has an enjoyable first day back with their new class!

 

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