Tuesday, 18 August 2015

First Day Back to School Activities

We all have different routines for our first day back to school. Some like to get straight into a routine with the children while others like to settle in without the textbooks or too much formal teaching.  Either way, I have listed some activities for the first day back to school that can be used for different subjects.

1.Rules (SPHE)
I always incorporate our class rules into an SPHE lesson in the first week. You made decide to come up with class rules together or have them ready previously. It's a good way to set clear expectations for the children.
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2. Summer Memories (Art/English Writing & Oral Language/Gaeilge)
This is a nice activity that allows the children to discuss their summer holidays. Depending on the level you teach it can be differentiated with a range of worksheets available. A senior class may be able to do it in Irish. Find it here

3. Get to know your students activity (link)
I always use this on the first day as it gives me an indication of each child's interests, helping me to get to know them better. Download one for free here

4. Take a class photo

When everyone is looking smart in their new uniforms/clothes, today is a good day to get a class photo for your class blog or the door of your classroom.
Say Cheese!
5. Beginning of Year Prayer (Religious Education)
Depending on the type of school you work in, you may decide to ask each child to write their own Beginning of Year Prayer.  If your school is not affiliated to a Religion, you could do a Hopes & Aspirations Paragraph instead.
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6. Allocate class jobs (SPHE)
I always delegate jobs to the children (which we usually change weekly). Start as you mean to go on by assigning jobs to the children. With older children, you could ask them to 'apply' for jobs by completing a form or letter of application.
This is a nice editable jobs list.
Classroom jobs
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7. Interview their partner (English Oral Language/Gaeilge)
If the children don't know each other, this is a good icebreaker to learn more about their classmates. You could play musical chairs to meet more of their new classmates. If they already know each other, ask the children to do the interview in Irish or another language. This is also a good opportunity for you to assess their ability informally.

8. We all fit in display (Art) 
This is a lovely First Day Back activity, allowing you to get to know the children and create a class display at the same time! Find the banners and jigsaw pieces on http://displays.tpet.co.uk/

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9. Maths
Mental Maths is a nice way to engage the children again. It also helps to identify areas that you need to revise over the first few weeks.

10. Circle Time (Drama)

A good way to allow the children to introduce themselves to you and the other pupils and to make everyone feel comfortable and settled. It could be simple clapping games, Chinese whispers or Follow the Leader action games.

11. Poetry (English/Oral language)

I came across this cute poem on Pinterest!

12. Read a Book
Who doesn't like to listen to their teacher read to them (good habit to start on the first day anyways!)? Last year, I read 'The Dot' to my class. You can read more about the boo and related activities in another post by clicking here.

Feel free to add some more ideas below!
Find other Back to School Posts here:

(An Actual) Back to School Checklist!

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