Friday, September 14, 2012

Favorite First Day Activities

To see my post click on First Day of School 2014

To see my post click on First Day of School 2013.

I had a wonderful first day of school this year.  Things went just as I planned and I think my students enjoyed a couple new to them, getting to know you activities and of course no homework the first day. Things have been going very well, although all the technology issues that I have to troubleshoot with our new PCs are enough to drive me to the brink of a Technology induced Armageddon.

Today I am going to share my favorite new first day activities.  I posted my First Day Plan previously so you can click on that to see an explanation for what we did.  Today I am recapping how things went and sharing a few photos with you.

1)  I can relate.  This went really well and some classes had a much more interesting chain of answers than others.  One class ended up being several "I can relate because I have a dog" and another was "I can relate because I have cousins".  I think next year I will tell them that two people max can say the same thing and then we have to move on to another topic.  I have some kids that struggled to give an answer, but we kind of helped them along.  Overall it was fun, the kids enjoyed it, and I will definitely do it again.

2)  Post-It Note Activity.  I LOVED this!  I ended up buying the small post-it notes for my classes because I have 100+ students and I knew the 3x3 would not fit on a large poster.  It worked wonderfully.  I gave each class hour a different color post-it because then I figured I could track the answers by class hour.  I am glad I did it this way, and the poster ended up being very colorful.  I passed out four post-it notes to each person and then we filled one poster at a time.  I would read the statement/question and then one person per group would bring the post-its up and place them on the poster.  The kids enjoyed the movement.

The four completed Post-It posters.

What will Mrs. Nackel need to do to help you this year?

Our classroom should be _____ everyday.

My goal for math this year is...

Math is important because...

It was really fun to read through the answer and get a quick idea of what the kids think.  The two top answers for "Our classroom should be ____ everyday" were clean and quiet.  Clean was the overwhelming answer.  LOL The kids are on the same wavelength as me for sure.  :)

3)  I think we only had time to do either or in one class.  It was pretty interesting to see their choices.  This is an activity I will definitely use throughout the year.  My favorite choices were fractions or decimals, algebra or geometry, and textbooks or computers.  It was fun.

I had a great first day and really loved the the new activities we did.  They are all keepers for next year.


  1. I love the post it note idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I am pinning the post-it note idea and hope to use it to assess what is working or not since my class is 6 weeks into the year. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I loved doing this with my students this year and now they love doing anchor charts with post it notes. I pose either an exit ticket or an entrance ticket at least once a week where they can add to the board. :)

  4. Love your stuff! Can't wait to try the post it note idea!

  5. I'm looking forward to my first day teaching, and trying your Post-It idea. I think it will be a hit, and getting student feed-back will help me out a lot as well.

  6. I am very excited to try something like this... I really dislike the first day of school. Maybe this will help the day! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are welcome. I loved the first day last year. It was the first time ever I did not have a sore throat from talking so much. Good luck!

  7. Hi Sherrie, I was wondering if you can explain "I can relate" and "either/or" games a little bit more. How do you start the games?
    Great ideas for the first day of school. I am so tired of the boring worksheets. Your ideas are making me excited to go back to school. Thank you!

  8. Yes please. I am a little confused too and I really want to try I can relate game on the first day. Love you ideas Sherrie!

  9. I found the explanation of the game in the August 5th post.

  10. I found the explanation of the game in the August 5th post.

  11. Are the students just relating to each other? Like in a chain reaction?

  12. We started school today and I had my classes do the poster post-it activity. I LoVeD it!! They seemed to enjoy getting to do something new on the first day back too! :-) Thanks so much for sharing!


  13. I found your blog because I'm planning to do the post-it activity on our first day. I love all of your ideas! It's so nice to see another middle school teacher, I feel like sometimes we are few and far between in the blogging world. :)

    Teaching Teens in the 21st

  14. Loved the post it activity. Question: How long do you leave these posters up in the classroom. I imagine the post its start drying out and falling off?? Laminating them would be cool and leaving up for the whole year!

  15. Anna,TpT Piece of PiAugust 13, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    Thanks for sharing this idea - I'm going to try it this year with my 8th graders!

  16. I'm trying this tomorrow with three classes (6th, 7th and 8th grades.) I'll report back tomorrow!


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