Plan the first days with 30 back to school ideas for the classroom teacher. Try the activities, community building ideas, and classroom management tips!
30 Back to School Ideas for a Stellar First Week
Are you gearing up for the first days and weeks back to school? These 30 fun and inspiring first-week activities and back to school ideas will make your start to the school year memorable. Sit down, grab a pencil and your planner, and use these creative ideas as a starting point as you begin to map out your return to the classroom. You won’t be disappointed!
Back to School Ideas that Seasoned Teachers Know
The first week of school is often harried with anxious students, the uncertainty of schedules, last-minute finalization of plans, and lots of coffee! Begin thinking about what you’ll do now – well before the first day, and remember these important points:
1. Get organized, plan your classroom management strategy, and don’t forget any important details with these ten tips for teachers for the first week of school.
2. Are you a new teacher? This list of tips for new teachers, based on what I wished I knew in the beginning, can help you get started!
3. Communication and showing that you care are important when meeting with parents that first week. Take these three tips into consideration to create positive relationships with families.
4. When you’re initially setting up your classroom routines, don’t forget these important details.
5. You will find awesome, actionable tips and activity ideas for your first week in this post geared for 3rd-grade teachers that first week!
6. Model appropriate behaviors, keep things positive and plan well, and you’ll be on your way. These 9 things will help you start your year off right!
Community Building Back to School Ideas
Everyone wants to ensure that their classroom is a haven for community and collaboration. A place where everyone feels comfortable and invited to participate. Help your students feel part of the bigger plan by engaging them in some of the following activities.
7. It’s always fun to throw in some cooperation and teamwork activities throughout the day to build community. Try these fast and easy games and activities.
8. A classroom contract is a way for everyone to mutually agree on the goals and attitudes desired. Creating the contract together, encouraging students to follow it, and enforcing it are key to a successful classroom community.
9. On the first day of school, get warmed up with these five cooperative learning activities. Watch as your kids get to know each other and learn how to work together and communicate, setting the first day up to be a hit!
10. This easy activity to inspire a growth mindset will encourage your students to think positively about challenges and mistakes. It will also give them the vocabulary needed to promote courage and persistence.
11. These chit-chat cards (free printable) are really great for opening up lines of communication and breaking the ice. Try them with your class!
Classroom Activities for Back to School – Ideas that Work
Start the year off with engaging activities that get kids excited about coming to school, and encourages them to grow and learn. These classroom activities will keep students smiling and looking forward to the next thing you have in store for them.
12. Give your students an opportunity to practice listening and following directions with this fun back-to-school bus directed drawing activity.
13. If you are looking for a meaningful literature-based activity that builds character and name recognition, this unit centered around the book Chrysanthemum will certainly do.
14. Help kids learn the names of their classmates with some of these fun name activities! You’ll even pick up on the new names quickly, too.
15. Here are lots of educational and motivational activities to try during the first week back. There are puzzles, games and exploration activities that will get the students talking and working together.
16. Browse these FUN back-to-school activities for neat ideas, including leaving a can of Playdoh on their desk the first day and quizzing the teacher on the first day.
17. Get to know your students, and help them to get acquainted with each other through these four first-day activities. including a FREE first day of school cootie catcher!
18. Toss a beach ball with get-to-know-you questions on it, and watch students engage in the friendly game and build connections.
Back to School Ideas for Effective Classroom Management
Classroom management is something you really must have a handle on. Without effective strategies for maintaining order, teaching and reinforcing expectations for behavior, attitudes, and productivity, your classroom can very quickly become a chaotic mess.
19. Try a few of the 10 positive classroom management tips and tricks I’ve found to be the most effective.
20. Prepare ways to reward your students ahead of time with these 5 creative and cost-effective options. Achievements, successes, and good behavior deserve praise and recognition!
21. Need a unique way to reward a child with something special, being a good listener, showing kindness, or some other achievement? These class coupons will come in handy.
22. One way to show students the power of hurtful words is to use this “Sticks and Stones” activity. They will learn the harsh reality that words can cause as much damage to the heart as physical harm to the body.
Classroom Organization Ideas for Back to School
An organized classroom is a well-run, predictable haven for your students, and saves you your sanity! Take a little bit of time in the weeks before school to make sure you’ve got your classroom organized and ready for kids.
23. Check out this roundup of 20 things that teachers absolutely must have for back-to-school! See if you have all these things on your list.
24. Have you thought about how your students can help out? Having classroom jobs makes the day run smoother, and gives everyone responsibility in the classroom.
25. Looking to save time and work smarter, not harder? These 10-time saving tips for teachers can help you accomplish this! Grab a copy of the FREE beginning of the year checklist for teachers too!
26. If you have a Silhouette Cameo, you’ll love these ideas for how to organize and create pretty things for your classroom!
27. Looking to spend the least amount of time as possible on classroom set-up? Rachel shows you how to set up your classroom in less than two hours! Impressive.
28. If you’ve ever considered alternative seating, check out this description of different possibilities as well as how well they worked for one teacher.
29. Pamper yourself by buying yourself these school supplies for teachers you can’t live without!
30. Be prepared and ready for any new students to be added to your roster by creating a new student welcome kit.
These 30 back to school ideas and activities are sure to get your classroom students motivated and excited at the beginning of the year! Try some of them out and your future Teacher-of-the-Year title will be well-earned. Have a great year!
Back to School Social-Emotional Learning Resource
This back to school social emotional learning resource is the perfect companion to your start of school lesson plans. It includes mini-lesson ideas and engaging activities that build connections in the classroom and teach important social and emotional skills to children during the most important time of year!
The mind+heart SEL back to school resource and activities will support kids as they learn to be positive members of the classroom community, develop self-awareness, build new relationships, and act with kindness and empathy.
More Back to School Ideas
FREE Back to School SEL Resource
Click the link below and get your free copy of the Back to School SEL Resource!
Encouragement & Resources for Back to School
Community-Building Activities for the First Week of School
First Week of School Activities to Make the Start of the Year Memorable