Back to School Survival Kit: 20+ First Week Activities and Learning Inventories

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Get to know your students, their skills and their learning needs in this mega-pack of over 20 fun-filled and practical back-to-school activities! “First Week Survival Kit” includes 35 pages of printables, games, activities, learning inventories and more to help you start the year off right.

Sample activities include:

Coat-of-Arms. Students create their own unique coat-of-arms—including personal favorites, heroes, mottos and more— using the template provided. Great to hang around the room in the beginning of year to help students get acquainted. Parents love to see them at open house too!
Top 10 Playlist. Students love their music. This activity lets them think about their lives in terms of their favorite songs. They must create a playlist of 10 songs that help tell who they are and explain each one.
Beach Ball Bonanza! A fun and friendly game in which students get to know each other by tossing around a beach ball, then doing or saying whatever the ball instructs them to do—all while practicing each others’ names. Sure to get them sharing—and laughing!
Reading and Writing Inventories. What are your students’ experience with and attitudes towards reading and writing, both within and outside of the classroom? Which students may need additional assistance and motivation? This activity will be helpful as you develop differentiated learning strategies and plan large and small group activities.
Vocabulary Inventories. (Also sold separately) Stop wasting time teaching words your students already understand or skipping over essential ones they need to build their foundation. Find out what your students know with two vocabulary inventories—one focused on common tier 2 words used in every English class, along with a blank template which can be used at the beginning of any unit to measure familiarity with new words. A great instructional compass.
Learning Style Inventory. Which students are visual learners? Which are auditory? Tactile? Determine your students’ learning styles and provide them with tips to maximize each. A great informational tool to guide differentiated instruction.
Scavenger Hunt. Where in your classroom can students find the pencil sharpener? Where are homework assignments posted? Students pair up and complete a scavenger hunt that will get them comfortable with your classroom so they know where to locate what they need from the start. First pair to answer all questions correctly wins!
Classroom Contract. (Also sold separately) What better way to get your students to buy into your classroom rules than have them create the rules themselves? This activity provides an outline for students to take part in creating and signing off on the classroom rules as well as the consequences for breaking them. The final signed contract can be made into a poster or copied and kept in notebooks all year long.

Build a community of learners in your classroom from day one with this 35-page packet. Created for high school and middle school students, but can be adapted for all ages.

WAIT! WANT AN EVEN BETTER VALUE? This product is offered as part of several back-to-school value bundles. Purchase these customer favorites together and save:

Back to School Mega-Bundle: Secondary Favorites

Back to School Mega-Bundle: ELA Grades 9-10

Back to School Mega-Bundle: ELA Grades 11-12

Start Strong, Finish Stronger: Back-to-School and End-of-Year Activity Bundle


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Keywords: back to school activities, first week activities, secondary, middle school, high school, getting to know you, icebreakers, back to school printables, back to school handouts, new teacher survival kit, classroom community, building classroom culture, building classroom community, classroom management
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Back to School Survival Kit:  20+ First Week Activities an
Back to School Survival Kit:  20+ First Week Activities an
Back to School Survival Kit:  20+ First Week Activities an
Back to School Survival Kit:  20+ First Week Activities an
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