First Day of School Activities!

I can’t believe there’s only 2 1/2 weeks until I start school again! Summer went by in a flash, as usual. It seemed like it was even faster for me because I had a move and I will be starting my fourth English teaching job in 5 years! God forbid I am at a school for more than a year…and this is not by choice! Anyways, I have been brainstorming and planning for activities for the first day of school. I decided to do a variation of a couple of things I have done before.

First idea: ‘Toilet Paper’ Ice Breaker Activity
Many teachers (especially middle and high school teachers) will start out the class describing the syllabus and going through the rules….yawn. I plan on covering that material, but starting off class with something a little more fun.
I’m planning on having instructions for students as they come into the room for them to locate the roll of toilet paper at the front of the room and take ‘as much as they think they need’. This creates a humorous and confusing atmosphere as some students try to roll out the whole roll, and some; trying to look cool, take a couple of sheets. The directions are purposefully ambiguous. After all the students are in the room and everyone has their TP, I will let them know that for each ‘square’ of TP, they have to write down one fact about themselves.  Some students will groan when they realize they’ve got quite a biography to write!

After giving students time to write, each will share. I will share a fact about myself too, but will save most of the important info for the second activity.

Second idea: Get to know the teacher listening activity
This is a great idea to let your students get to know you and allowing them to practice their listening skills. Just prepare a short biography of yourself (or create a ’25 fun facts about Ms./Mr._______________) with accompanying questions for students to answer. You could even have them guess the questions to some of the answers before you read the bio to see if any of the students can correctly guess facts about you. Or, tell students to take notes as your read the bio. Optionally, allow students to look at the questions and answer them as you read it a second time. Then have the students work with partners to make sure they got the answers to all the questions.

Those are two activities I will be doing for the first day of school this year; will let you know how they go! I’m sure they are a million more creative things a teacher could do but I find these simple and they don’t rely on intricate technology or expensive supplies!

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