Welcome your new classes and facilitate class-building with this First Day activity.
When your classes arrive, have students write their names on the enclosed worksheet and settle them down with this name-based word search. The most popular boys and girls names are hidden in the puzzle as a means of getting students engaged immediately. Instruct your students to look for their names and other names that they recognize.
Once students are settled and have had time to find several names in the puzzle, have them stand and find a partner. Students will be tasked with (1) introducing themselves to a classmate and (2) sharing names that they have found in the puzzle.
Not only is this a great way to get kids to move around in a meaningful way, it is also a positive and structured activity for building social skills and team-building.
I have included instructions to help the teacher guide the class through a second activity where students will pair with students whose names were not found in the puzzle and to introduce these new classmates to the class.
I have also included a basic checklist for the teacher to use as s/he observes the class. The checklist is designed for the teacher to gather information and to help them to identify:
(1) students who are attentive,
(2) those who follow instructions,
(3) those who stay on task, and
(4) those who interact well with others.
This checklist should be helpful as you make your seating charts for the first week of school.
While the word search was created as part of the student introductions activity, it can also be used as a reward and brain break later in the day.