The summers are about to end, and students are as anxious as ever to hop back into learning after a long, relaxing break. However, on the flip side, we have teachers who seem to be preparing the best course of action to captivate young learners and spark their educational spirit after a months-long hiatus. If you’re a teacher and are worried about your first few days of school, you need to check some of the top 25 back-to-school activities out there.
This guide will cover the best activity-oriented ideas you can apply to your students and potentially get favorable results. We’ll make sure to walk you through each activity in-depth, so you can find it easier to incorporate it as you get back to school and in a class full of children.
If some of them don’t work, most of the activities will pay off, so it’s all about knowing the type of students you’ve got for yourself. Let’s begin without any further delay.
25 of the best back-to-school activities for teachers
What you’ll visualize below is our selection of the top 25 back-to-school activities ideas for educators and schoolteachers so that they can kickstart the school year with proper effect.
1. Learn who the new faces are
After the summer break, you, as a teacher, are bound to visualize new faces. Novel admissions will be a part of your back-to-school endeavors, so it would be great to get to know new students right away. You should get every student, familiar or unfamiliar, to stand up, introduce themselves to the whole class, and describe what they did in their summers.
A mutual display of interest with the help of this back-to-school activity can help you become a more passionate personality to your students. For the days to come, they’ll trust you with stuff, won’t cheat behind your back on and off exams, and strive to develop a stronger bond of a student-teacher relationship. We recommend breaking the ice this way on your first day of school.
2. Get the students to indulge in crafting
Getting into a physical activity on your very first day is potent enough to set the mood for months to come with your students. Going all work and study in the beginning isn’t what you want when looking to start a new school year. Instead, you should loosen up and let your students do the same. Crafting is a great way to indulge students and make them think, “Hey, maybe the first day of school isn’t turning out to be bad after all.”
3. Let students cheer each other up
A great way to start one of your first days is by making your students interact. One fun idea is to get clothespins or any plastic clip and get the young learners to write a positive message on them. Each clip would then be shared, making the environment loving, caring, and full of boosted energy.
4. Ask the students to visualize their goals
The future can be uncertain for certain individuals if they don’t set their minds on what they want to do upon growing older. Instilling a behavior of seriousness in this notion is not only ice-breaking for the first day but beneficial in multiple manners. As a teacher, it’s one of your responsibilities to make your students visualize their future and tell themselves to figure out their best interests.
In addition, you can also ask your students to write down their goals. The achievements can be split into long and short terms, so they don’t have to jump too far ahead. What you want to get out of this activity is a reinforced mindset of every student sitting in your class. The idea should keep the little learners occupied for half an hour or so, depending on how you relay the activity to them.
5. Determine how each student learns the best
Another terrific way to keep students busy on your first day is by asking the whole class how they’d like to learn the information they’re provided with. Some write stuff down, while others prefer a more visual approach. On the other hand, more types of students might even rely on their auditory skills for the most part. It’s your job to determine how best you can approach your students.
Not only will this be utterly helpful, but it will also help you adjust your teaching style for the school year ahead. Understanding your student’s needs is good practice because not every individual’s mind is built similarly.
6. Recall the time spent during the summers
The summer break is a much-needed time of relaxation. However, each young learner must have had some great memories throughout this period. As their teacher, you can ask each student about their time during their summer holidays. In the end, you’ll share your experience, making the discussion lively and entertaining.
7. Play a game of creative questions
Another fun way to spice up your first venture back to school is to create a list of interesting questions and then split groups of students. That way, you can make each group answer those questions and engage in fun-filled moments of creativity. The gist of it is to develop mind-boggling questions. A few examples are:
- What is the purpose of life?
- When was the beginning of time?
- Is the opposite of opposite identical or opposite?
8. Evaluate the mental health of students
A fantastic way of being a great teacher is to check in with students’ mental health. A good teacher cannot teach with remarkable skill, whether it’s high school or something at a lower level. What makes a teacher great is how kind they’re willing to be in moments of conflict. Therefore, come up with a unique way of asking students about their mental health.
The summer break can often cause anxiety when it’s about to end, so checking in concerning this facet is something that will pay off eventually.
9. Try coloring with your students
Coloring with your students is a fun way of jumpstarting the first couple of days back in school. Get a coloring book and make every student highlight some part of it so that everyone can collaborate and practice teamwork. You may get several color books and give each book to a group of students if the strength is pretty large in your class.
10. Create a welcome bag
Another excellent way you can make students feel right at home is by creating inexpensive welcome kits. Each bag can include a few candies, some stationery items, a personally written letter wishing good luck, and perhaps a name tag to make your student feel special.
11. Appoint class responsibilities
If you’ve had the same class before the summer break, it might be time to appoint new responsibilities to your students. You can designate a student to be the class leader, handling all assignments and ensuring no student gets left behind. On the other hand, you can make one student hold the door every time the class has to go out. Little pointers like these go a long way in improving overall class performance and compassion for each other.
12. Make a self-representation challenge
Another relatively simple yet effective back-to-school activity relates to the student representing and putting themselves out there. Tell your students to make a bag and put two-three things inside that show the world who they are. Welcome everyone’s picks, and don’t forget to say some good words accordingly.
13. Develop a name puzzle
Another way to simultaneously keep things interactive and fun is by developing a crossword puzzle with your students’ names latched onto them. Students will get to know each other better by helping them find the names using their cognitive skills.
14. Learn facts about your students
You can get a basket full of candies and pass it to the whole class. Tell each student to take as many candies as they want, but don’t declare what the activity is about until every student has taken a candy. Once you’re finished, go to the front of the room and tell the students that they’ll share something about themselves with each candy they take. This should last a good while on your first day back to school.
15. Use index cards to share feelings
An intelligent way to bond with your students more and get them to open up is by simply sharing an index card. However, the card that you’ll give shouldn’t be empty. Instead, it should contain a piece of writing you want to share with your student. That way, you’ll demand an index card back from a student with something written about them on the card as well. Watch how things get personal and allow you to learn more about your audience accordingly.
16. Decorate the classroom
Nothing is better than forming teamwork and acting as a solitary unit to accomplish something. Instruct students to get creative and create unique ideas to decorate the classroom in unique ways. Young learners can grab anything they like to charm up the room with as long as they’re not going too overboard with their selection. Help the students out wherever you can, but watch more for collaboration and partnerships.
17. Make everyone compliment each other
As soon as your first class begins, share a notion with your students. Tell them to take a piece of paper and write down a compliment for the student sitting next to them. Don’t let the students tell what the compliment is yet. Everyone will be allowed to perceive the praise by the end of the class.
18. Ask “Would you rather” questions
Next, we suggest playing a fun game where you ask “Would you rather” questions. This allows each student to face a dilemma and pick one out of two different situations. Let’s have some examples of these questions below.
- Would you rather eat a burger or a pizza?
- Would you rather play video games or actual sports?
- Would you instead enjoy the rain or run from it?
- Would you rather like to have Coke or Mountain Dew?
19. Get everyone to think of an adjective with their name
Like the terms “Hilarious Harry” or “Sad Sally,” try getting your students to make up an adjective to go with their name. Doing so should help boost a learning environment and make it easier for you to manage the whole class accordingly. The mood will be dispersed nicely, removing the anxiety the children must be experiencing beforehand.
20. Create a portrait
Even though most students might not be ingrained artists, it’s worth biding the time in learning a new skill and getting the little ones to try a create a portrait. The bulletin board present in the class can be used for this particular activity. Moreover, the portraits can be made out of paper. You can even implement variations and get the students to create portraits of each other to boost familiarity.
21. Play a deciphering game
It’s overly fun and engaging to immerse a student into cracking codes. For instance, the image you see above asks a question, but the answer of it is nothing but quirky. However, you can already lay out the key to the question by creating a cryptic graph of some sort that can put the student through their paces. Get them to answer the question this way, watch how time flies by, and set the tone for the rest of the day.
22. Meditate collectively
Meditation is bliss, peace, and everything of the like. It allows you to connect with yourself deeply, and practicing such a valuable skill early on is nothing but a future-proof benefit for young learners. Therefore, a possible first-day activity as a teacher is to get the whole class together and teach them something about meditation. Once done, you can go on and hold a practical class, thereby making your audience acknowledge the lasting effects of this productive activity.
23. Write a letter
Becoming penfriends with someone you will spend the rest of your life with is an intimate activity. Try getting your students to write a letter to themselves, discussing everything they’d like to share along with future objectives. The topic of the letter can be diverse, ranging from discussing personal interests and hobbies to writing down everything that makes oneself happy. Again, you’re free to add your variations to the activity.
24. Collaborate with the class and set rules together
This is more of a helpful tip than just a mere back-to-school activity for teachers. If you wish your students to be obedient, disciplined, and responsible for their work, don’t set rules all by yourself. Instead, get your students in on the action and let every young learner participate. That way, you won’t be able to hear any complaint from any student regarding the rules being too strict or anything of the like.
After all, the whole lot will set ground rules to be much more than an activity. It should keep you and your students busy for an hour or two, depending on how quickly you can get a response from your learners and progress with the rules.
25. Host a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is an everyday activity that people of all ages like to indulge in. However, on your first day back to school, things will be a little different and much more enjoyable this time. The key here is to host a student scavenger hunt where each student will come up to you and let you in on something special about them. One by one, you will write down each attribute of the students in your class until you finish.
As soon as you’re done, the next step is to say the attribute out loud and make a select number of students guess who the trait belongs to. This will help you make friends with your students on your first day, so try it out, and don’t forget to include your variety in the mix.
Teaching can be a difficult job, especially when you’re made to deal with little ones who know nothing but throwing temper tantrums left and right. In addition, it’s also something to worry about when your children aren’t focusing on their syllabus and are left unmotivated. In that case, some highly effective back-to-school activities should set things in motion for you unequivocally.
It can always be somewhat challenging to kickstart the learning system after an overly loosening break, especially after summer vacations. However, the learning must continue, and the school must bring everyone back into their steady focus. This guide has talked about the top 25 back-to-school activities for your cause, so you can incorporate these friendly strategies and continue leading a peaceful educator life.
Please let us know in the comments section what activity seemed to be your favorite. We want to read your feedback!