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The first day of school is so important. It helps set the tone for the entire school year. It is the day students size us up. Maybe that’s not fair, but it is what it is. Many districts require teachers to teach rules/procedures on the first day. Ugh!! How boring for students to have to sit through a full day of nothing but rules and procedures. You may not have a choice, however. But if this is the case, you can try these first day activities on the REAL first day. You know, the one where you actually get to teach something. Try to do the following on your first day:
Make your students feel welcome
Tell your students a bit about yourself.
Tell your students a bit about your class.
Have some type of introductory activity that is easy and fun and that will get students sharing.
The following pages have several first day activities designed to be both easy and fun. I always like to have some kind of small prize/reward (candy, bookmark, pencil, etc.) on hand to give to the best ones. I also like to put students into small groups for these activities if possible. It gets them talking and bouncing ideas off each other. First day activities include the following:
Word Race-How well can your students use a dictionary?
Mad Lib Bio-Students fill in Mad Lib questionnaire about themselves.
Stellaluna Read Aloud-Using a children's book to provoke thought
Just Because Poem-Students use poetry to shatter people's assumptions
Children's Book Groups-More children's lit in the high school classroom