The first day of school is always exciting for parents, students and teachers. Usually, the teacher makes the day fun by leading some special first-day-of-school activities to welcome the students back to the classroom. Add some excitement to the first day of school by planning writing, art and other special activities for your students.
Playing games is one of the best ways to "break the ice" in a new classroom and get to know each other at the same time. Try having each student sit on top of his or her desk. Then, toss one of the students a bean bag. When the student catches it, he has to say his name and favorite subject, after which he tosses it to another student and sits down. Do this until all students are sitting down.
Decorate your classroom with your students' names. First, print out each student's name in large block letters on one piece of paper. Pass them out, and ask the students to color and decorate their names in a way that illustrates who they are. For example, they may color with their favorite colors, or glue photos of favorite foods or animals on the letters (old magazines are a great photo resource). When finished, hang the names on a bulletin board or on the classroom wall.
A quick and easy activity that encourages reading is to make bookmarks. Ask the students to write their names on their bookmarks and to list how many books they want to read this year, or the title of their favorite book. Then, place the bookmarks in a tin can in the reading corner. Encourage the students to use these bookmarks throughout the year. Not only will it help them keep their place, but it will allow you to identify "lost" books.
Write about your school year before it happens. Have the students pretend the school year is over. Ask them to describe their favorite part of the year, what they enjoyed learning about, and friends they made. Not only will this make the students giggle, but it will give you, the teacher, some ideas as to what the students are looking forward to and would like to learn about.
Surprise your students with some special activities to mark the day. Place a doughnut on each student's desk for them to enjoy while you go over your procedures. Or, end the day with some special "welcome back to school cupcakes" (make sure none of your students have any food allergies before doing this). Or, invite the parents for lunch and have a get-to-know-you picnic on the first day of school.