The first week back at school – it’s something kids hate to think about and make a huge deal out of. After an entire summer of nothing but relaxing, playing, and being entirely carefree, they’re now faced with an entire year of routine, early mornings and lessons in the subjects that they find it harder and harder to get to grips with every year.
That first week back is huge when it comes to setting the tone, atmosphere, and all-round classroom environment for the year to come, so as a teacher, you must try to make sure that it’s educational, enjoyable, and engaging! Here are our top 5 ideas for helping your students to settle into the new school year as easily as possible!
1) Introducing You
Before you start diving into any of the lesson plans, crafts, or activities, you’ll want to get yourself acquainted with your new class, so it’s best to start by introducing yourself, the teacher, to the kids so that they’re comfortable with who you are, what your name is, and so that they know you’re friendly and approachable for whenever they’ve got questions or need some help.
Fun ways to give your class a little bit of information about yourself is to create a Facebook-style wall outlining your ‘Teacher Profile’, where you talk a bit about your likes, hobbies, dislikes, favourite subjects, or your wackiest adventure, with a picture of yourself to top it off! This will instantly help your class to feel like they know you a little better.
2) Introducing Them!
Next up, you’ll want to get the kids to introduce themselves, not just to you but to the rest of their classmates too – these are going to be their new friends, so it’s great to get things started on the front foot.
Again, it’s really easy to get the children involved in this by turning it into a game, you can throw a beach ball around the class and whoever it lands on can answer a few questions about themselves such as their name, their birthday, their favourite colour, and their least favourite food. Pass around the ball until every student has introduced themselves!
You could also have a class ‘snowball’ fight, which entails each student writing down a few facts about themselves on a piece of white paper, then screwing those up into ‘snowballs’ and throwing them around at each other until you shout “STOP!”. When they hear stop, they pick up the piece of paper closest to them, read out the facts, then guess who that piece of paper belongs to!
3) Introducing the Subjects
Lastly, you’ll want to get your students eased into the subjects that they’ll be covering this year; that is why they’re there in the first place, after all. Crafts are a great way to kick things off, giving the children the change to express their creative side whilst picking up information about the different things that they’re cutting, sticking, and colouring in on the way!
Whether it’s pop stick puppets of Tutankhamun, DIY Mayan masks, or creating a colourful bookmark to help them find the right page of the book in their Literacy lessons, there are teaching supplies to help out in every subject!
With any luck, these tips should have helped you get your class off to a great start for the year, giving them the right introduction to a year of learning and growing in both their academic knowledge and as young people.