N-n-n-n-nervous about day one? Check out 14 fun activities for that first day of class.

Posted by: Darrell Jones

August 19th, 2016

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Whether you’re a first-time teacher or a seasoned educator, getting the year off on the right foot is certainly something to shoot for.

Day one often sets the tone for things to come, so it makes sense to kick-off the year right with entertaining and suitable activities.pencils_and-stuff

With that in mind we asked fellow teachers on Edmodo how they’ve approached the first day of class. Naturally we received lots of eye-opening suggestions for activities. Some were insightful. Some creative. Some just plain hilarious (a big thanks to Alejandra Guzman for her idea, which may not apply to everyone, “Snowball fight!”)

Here are a few other suggestions that help break the ice, without requiring snowfall:

“I’ve used several over the years, but my favorite is to get them to seat themselves in birthday order from January 1 to December 31 without my help.”

Vanita Vance

“Give Me 5 – I ask students to share 5 things about themselves.”

Merewyn Patrick

“Anything that gets them up and moving around.”

Michelle Touceda

“Have them interview their elbow partner, turn that interview into a paragraph, then have the partners stand and introduce one another using those paragraphs.”

Mrs. Touceda

“I like to start the year with world’s worst actor. The kids aren’t expected to be good which is very freeing and lets me see a bit about their performance comfort level.”

Jody Urbas

“I love art and other things where students create. This collaborative drawing ice breaker is fun.”


“2 truths and a lie.”

Cristin Miller

“Brainstorming a great school year, and creating a poster wall to get to know students and help them get to know one another.”

Stella Maris Berdaxagar

“We share our favorite book.”

Rory Morse

“I like to have them answer a fun survey, or do a share out, sometimes will use some tech games to have fun with them, learn who they are.”

Rachelle Poth

“Play the game where the teacher asks a question and kids move from one side of the room to another based on their answer. For example, the teacher says, “Pizza is one of my favorite foods.” Kids move to the right of the room if they agree and the opposite side of the room if they disagree. It’s a get to know you activity without a lot of risk.”

Sandy King

“I always start out with a Science mystery hunt! Gets the kids up and active and meeting new people.”

Linwood Starling

“Shoot selfies and show them in the interactive whiteboard while students describe themselves.”

Jose Angel Morancho

“Here’s my favorite way to start the school year off! I like to have students make a one-minute Animoto video about themselves to introduce themselves to the class. I then have them post the video to an Edmodo small group and have them comment and say nice things to each other.”

Mr. Fairfield

As you can see, the approaches are varied but most have a common theme: Get all of your students participating so they each feel involved, and let everyone get to know each other.

With that you’re sure to have a great first day that leads to a magical year. For more suggestions and tools for a successful year, discover the many features and topics available to you on Edmodo.

25 responses to “N-n-n-n-nervous about day one? Check out 14 fun activities for that first day of class.”

  1. Ms, Clemens says:

    Find a favourite quote (or song lyric or poetic phrase). Print it and present it, saying why they chose it…what it means to them (modelled by teacher). Great positive sayings to post on the bulletin board.

  2. Joyce McCree says:

    Extremely helpful post full of practical yet powerful easy to implement ideas. Thank you all.

  3. Carol Lee says:

    I like this! I might use Jose’s Animoto video idea!

  4. lisa washington says:

    These are great ideas! I will remind the staff to look at this blog.

  5. Handprint the children on their first day of school. Add this poem:
    Here are my hands with ten fingers in all
    My first mark in school to hang on the wall
    As years go by I will remember and say
    “My hands and I had a good first day!

  6. Rada Mohammad says:

    I think I will start my first or second periods by the VAK learning styles self- assessment sheets . I will use it to know more about the best teaching strategy used for each student .
    I also have a quick revision for safety rules and lab equipmentso used.

  7. Alice Ocasio says:

    “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”
    — Walt Disney

  8. Amanda Clegg says:

    I set my expectations in terms of behaviour and attitude to learning as most teachers would I am sure. I use 3 rules at most that must be obeyed in order to succeed in my room. But then I give each student a post it note. On one side they have to say what their expectations are of me for the next year and on the otehr side- something they are proud of achieving the year before. I have only ever had 1 silly post it. Most say they want lessons to be fun and for me to push them hard even when they don’t want to. To have high expectations and never give up and also to be firm and fair.

  9. Beth Hines says:

    I love to do ‘To the Line’ with my guys. I put a piece of tape on the floor and half the class stand on one side and the other half stands on the other side. When I say, has a brother. All the ones that have a brother step on the line. They look up and down the line to see who they have something in common with. We also do “Would You Rather” where you say would you rather jump into a swimming pool with marshmallows, or would you rather jump into a pool filled with jello. The ones who chose marshmallows stand on one side of the room and vice versa. Then you call on a student to see why they chose that. So much fun!!!

  10. sobia Tanveer says:

    I have planned to have a chart with months of the year ,Each child will write his/her date of birth under respective month .It would be an activity to know that their special days are special for all class fellows and for teacher too.

  11. Mrs. Pickett says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. There are so many good ideas. My take aways are “take selfies and show them on the interactive whiteboard, ask students there likes and dislikes and then have them move from the right or left side of the room, and finally brainstorming a great school year to make a poster so the students can see it daily” These were my favorites. Thanks.

  12. The 5 W’s of Getting To Know Me

    Who am I?
    What did I do over the summer?
    When did I first began at this school?
    Where did I attend school the previous year?
    Why did I choose this school over any other school?

  13. Linda Kal Sander says:

    I like the 2 truths and a lie. I think that will resonate with my students.

  14. Cindy Cobleigh says:

    Jody, Urbas,
    Can you tell us more about your collaborative drawing ice breaker? You said “this collaborative…” is there a link? Sounds like fun.

  15. Clara says:

    We do three items in a bag. The students
    bring three items to school that can tell us a little bit about who you are and what you like to do. Bring the items to school in a bag. We share these items at morning circle.

  16. camila Torres Guzman says:

    Very interesting, I´m a firstgrader so I like to begin the year singing and playing games.

  17. Frederick Amoaning says:

    I ask them to tell the class one activity they enjoyed most before the first day in school. The reason for this; it allows me to discover the child’s new interest.

  18. Mrs. Pierre says:

    Great Ideas!!!

  19. Martin Kellyom says:

    These are good;
    Thank you

  20. sou says:

    I’ll start by give one word you want to say when describe science.

  21. Adina M Sobo says:

    In my 10th grade Biology class, I ask them to *define* science as a think, pair, share. By the end of class, we’ve usually had a lively discussion and end up with a good definition.

  22. Cindy Hanser says:

    I like to incorporate group activities on the first day. This allows students to meet classmates. I typically have students number 1 to 4 and arrange groups that way or by colors they are wearing.

  23. Brenda says:

    I like to hear the students’ expectations for the class as well as asking them to start setting up the procedures for the classroom that will help us achieve their expectations.

  24. Francesca says:

    Thank you all for your interesting ideas. This year I will try the post it game of Amanda Clegg about expectations and achievements. Thank you, Amanda

  25. Sonia says:

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions! I really liked Rachelle Poth’s idea, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate movement in classes. That’d make for an interesting way of getting to know students for sure! I think I will try it with my year 6 students. Thanks you Rachelle for the submission! 🙂

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