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Back to School Activities

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

The first day of school can be exciting, nerve-wracking, overwhelming, and magical all at the same time. (Can you relate?) This makes it the perfect opportunity for Getting to Know You activities and collaborative activities as well. It helps everyone get to know a little bit more about each other, and having an activity like this ready for students as they walk in keeps everyone calm and engaged on the first morning back.

Below are 5 EASY to implement, highly informative, and engaging back to school activities you can use with your students when you return to school.


1. All About Me


The "All About Me" back to school activity is a great way to get to know your students on the first day of school, and help them learn a bit about their classmates as well. Students answer questions about themselves and set a goal for the school year. An added benefit is that it gets students writing on the first day of school, and working through the entire writing process on the very first week of school. That's a win-win activity in my book. Oh, and let's not forget that it makes a beautiful bulletin board display for the first week of school. (You may click on the resource to check it out.)

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

2. Count on Me


"Count on Me" is an engaging activity geared more towards math teachers to use as a back to school activity on the first day of school. The benefits of this activity is that you can assess students higher order thinking abilities on the very first day of school. Students answer questions about themselves using number sentences. You can have students come up with any they want, or you can give them guidelines. For example, you can ask for 3 addition problems, 3 subtraction problems, 2 problems that include triple digit numbers, etc. Students can then present them in groups, or you can set them us with a partner who needs to work through the problem to figure out the answer. I've done the latter, then had the partner stand up and present their partner's information to the class. A set of "Scoot" activity cards also come with this resource which make it a great way to engage students in math and help them get to know more about each other on the first week of school. (You may click on the resource to check it out.)

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

3. Interest Surveys


"Interest Surveys" are another great back to school activity because they allow you to get to know your students interests quickly on the first day of school. You can find out what their favorite subject is, how they prefer to learn best, what subjects they dislike, what have been their favorite experiences at school, etc. They sky's the limit with these. There are several interest surveys (including reading surveys) you can find online by searching "Student Interest Survey" on Google.

4. Find Someone Who


"Find Someone Who" is an activity that gets kids up and moving on their first day back to school. It's a great way to help them engage with each other in a nonthreatening atmosphere. Students are given a sheet with several activities or facts on them. They then walk around the room looking for someone who falls into that category. They then have that student write their name in the box. Students are usually told that classmates are only allowed to write their name once on each person's sheet. (You may click on the resource to check it out.)

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

5. Name Tents

For this particular Back to School activity, I usually fold the sheets into triangular prisms for the students and set them up on their desk. I then have an example made and displayed at the front of the classroom. Students write their first name on both sides of the Name Tent. This allows people sitting in any area of the classroom to see it. Then, on each of the four corners, students draw four small pictures of items that represent them or tell a little about their lives. For example, I may have a book on one corner because I like to read, a dog bone on another corner because I own a dog, on the third corner I may have a pencil because I enjoy drawing, and on the last corner I may have 5 smiling faces representing each person in my immediate family. (You can see an example pictured below).

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

To create the triangular prism, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Fold  paper in half (landscape).
Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

Step 2: Open up the paper. Bring the left side towards the middle crease and fold down.
Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.


Step 3: Bring the right side towards the middle crease and fold down.

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

Step 4: Lift the paper up, and overlap the top outer folds. 



Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.


I hope you found something that allows everyone to get to know a little bit about each other, helping to foster relationships in your classroom. After all, as we all know, relationships are what help make the school year be a pleasant one.

If you'd like to check out a list of great Back to School Read Alouds for Upper Elementary Students and free resources, click on the image below.

Back to School Activities

I hope you have a wonderful first day back to school this year!



Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

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