As a school social worker, the beginning of the school year means the beginning of new groups. For a social/emotional group to be beneficial it is important that the group members feel connected with one another and feel safe and cared for. In other words, the foundation that is built early on dictates the future success of the group.
One activity that I like to do with my groups is the All About Me sheet. Have students fill out the All About Me sheet and then allow for time to share. I usually start with my own to model the process. I do not display these as I feel they are too personal.
This activity can be easily used with the entire class in the general education setting.