Tag Archives: beginning of year

What You Missed This Summer – BOY Ideas

I know that my readership takes a dip June-August each year as many educators go on vacations or take breaks during those months.  Although I did not post as regularly as I meant to this summer, I did share some resources that I believe are worth repeating in case you missed them.  I am going to spend this week spotlighting some of those.

Here are some ideas I mentioned this summer that can help you and your students to get to know each other so you can develop great relationships at the Beginning Of the Year.

Chat Pack for Kids – Great icebreaker, attendance, and transition time questions that kids love to ponder!

#Awards – I used this idea, originally from Joelle Trayers, at the end of last school year, but it could also be an illuminating activity for the first week of school.

MyRebus – You and your students could create rebuses of two lies and a truth, a simple sentence about their summer, etc…  Also fun to create codes for BreakoutEdu.

Me – The User Manual – If you could give someone a set of instructions for interacting with you, what would you say?  This idea is a fun way to summarize what people need to know about you.

Week of Inspirational Math #3 – Kick off your school year by developing positive mathematical mindsets with these activities for K-12.

DreamBingo – Help middle and high school students develop specific goals to work toward this year as they learn about the “life skills” that are required for successful careers.

Did you already start your school year?  That doesn’t mean you can’t use any of these! Developing and maintaining relationships should happen throughout the term, not just at the beginning.

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image from Pixabay
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Back to School Games from Breakout Edu

In this Education Week article, “10 Non-Standard Ideas About Going Back to School,” by Nancy Flanagan, she gives the following advice:

“Don’t make Day One “rules” day. Your classroom procedures are very important, a hinge for functioning productively, establishing the relationships and trust necessary for individual engagement and group discussions. Introduce these strategies and systems on days when it’s likely your students will remember them and get a chance to practice them. This is especially important for secondary teachers, whose students will likely experience a mind-numbing, forgettable parade of Teacher Rules on Day One.”

It’s often considered good practice to establish rules and procedures at the beginning of a new school year, but I can definitely attest that my daughter came home from each first week during her middle school years feeling bored and defeated.  Not only did the teacher of each subject spend the entire period going over rules, but many of them showed the same not-so-exciting videos, which repetitively appeared in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. (Fortunately, each year improved dramatically after the first weeks, as her fabulous teachers definitely challenged and engaged her.)

As a teacher of 25 years, I’ve gone through many first days, and I can tell you that I am just as enthusiastic as the students when my staff development weeks begin with rules, procedures, and awkward team-building activities.

Nancy Flanagan goes on in her article to suggest doing engaging activities the first day that will also help the students to learn something.  If you are looking for ideas, Breakout Edu offers some Back to School games that might be just the ticket to ramp up excitement so your students go home the first day and tell their parents what they learned and that they had fun doing it!  There is one game each for elementary, upper elementary, and secondary. There is even one for Staff Development! (Note: You will need to register for free with Breakout Edu in order to get the password to access the games.)

Consider embedding rules and procedures into exciting learning activities, rather than making them the starring topic for introducing the year.  Your students – and their parents – will thank you!

from Breakout Edu Back to School Games
from Breakout Edu Back to School Games