Surviving the Back to School rush and the rest of your 280+ days to come begins with advanced planning, thorough preparation, and skillful implementation starting well before the very first day of school. But more important than anything else on those first days is creating a classroom climate of trust, curiosity, and excitement.
There are many tips that teachers can share about building this classroom community. You can start by clearly establishing the rules and requirements for your class, you can begin by thoroughly examining your class expectations with a syllabus, course outlines, and other class tools, or you can begin with activities that immediately show your students that your classroom will be filled with all of those things you desire from the first day to the very last!
My favorite activities are those that allow students the opportunity to get up and get to know one another on that very first day. Students can use "Find Someone Who..." or "Meet & Greet" activities (many varieties available in my TpT Store), they can create "Summer Newsletters" to share and display, or they can introduce themselves in a number of fun and creative ways.
MY VERY FAVORITE: My FREE First Homework Assignment Identity Bags get your school year started off on the right foot by allowing your students to share what is most important to and about themselves! It gets students engaged, keeps them interested and curious, and helps them to quickly understand your classroom expectations.
And don't use this assignment simply for students introductions - Begin your very first day by presenting your very own Identity Bag to the class. Tie in your classroom expectations and your course outline through your "identity bag items," as well as sharing personal information that may help you relate to your students and their interests.
By the time you have cleaned out your bag, your students will know who you are, what you expect, and that your class will be one they will enjoy and respect through the year. You'd be surprised how the items you include will help your students bond with you from that very moment on!
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