Here some back to school activities and surveys that would be appropriate for grades 2-4. I have included the following:
1. Find a Friend - Great thing to do as students walk through the door on the first day of school. Gets them talking to each other to get the nerves out, while at the same time meeting one another and starting the journey to create a classroom community.
2. Let's Collaborate! - Small groups of children work together to create a list of rules that they would like for their classroom. They need to work together to think of appropriate rules and how they help us learn. They will pick their favorite two rules to share with the class. This is the beginning of creating 3-5 classroom rules for the school year!
3. Classroom Rules Contract - After hearing from all the groups, write a list on chart paper of the two favorite rules from each group. Then have a class discussion about similarities between the rules. As a class, try to combine them into 3-5 rules that the class will follow. After you agree on 3-5 classroom rules, write them on this paper and have all the students sign the bottom. Copy and send home so parents can see what you agreed on for the year.
4. Getting to Know You - This is a paper that I have my students fill out in order for me to get to know them a little bit. I want to know how they think about school, what is easy, what is hard, what they want to tell me. Many times, it's easy to write on paper than talk to a new teacher they don't know on the first day!
5. Parent Survey - I give this survey out to parents on Orientation Day for them to fill out and return to me. Getting off to a great start with parents is key to a successful school year. I ask them what they want me to know about their child, what is hard for their child, what is easy for them and what concerns they have for the upcoming school year. I make sure to call every parent within the first week or two to answer any questions they have.
6. What Makes a Great Teacher? - This is another small group brainstorming project. Have students make a list or a word web about what they think makes a great teacher. Once they finish, gather around in large group to share ideas and create a chart as a class. I think it's important to see what they value right from the beginning. I also like them to work in small groups right away to collaborate and get to know one another.