Back to School Activities
Always looking for new ideas for the beginning of the year? Me too!
I've got a few for you and your students, for when you head back to school!
The Name Game
I used this game for many years.....many times I'd plan not to, but then I couldn't stand not knowing kids' names right away, so we'd play:-) Students and I get into a big circle, and I ask students to come up with an adjective that describes them and begins with the same sound as the beginning of their first name, like 'Energetic Ellie." The first student to my left shares his/her name; the 2nd student repeats the 1st student's name and then shares his own. The third student repeats the first two names/adjectives, and adds her own. The activity continues in this way around the circle until we get to me, and I get to repeat all the names.
This game helps me to get to know all the students' names during the first class session. It also helps me learn about the students - it tells me who seems to have a good memory and who has more difficulty. I can see who appears to be confident and who is more hesitant; who's willing to accept help (I always prompt if they want/need) and who isn't. And of course, their adjectives usually tell me something about them:-)
Getting to Know You Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare - kids are intrigued when they hear the name! “Math Truth or Dare – Getting to Know You” is a set of 30 questions you can use to get to know your students and to help your students get to know each other.
There are 15 “Truth” question cards and 15 “Dare” question cards. Most of them do not have a “correct” answer, so if more than 15 students choose to answer a “truth” question or a “dare” question, then the questions can be used again.
The Truth questions ask about the students, while the Dare questions ask students to complete math computations (some of the computations are based on facts about the student, so these can also be used again, as students’ answers may be different.) You can grab this freebie on TPT or as part of the free download if you opt in for my email updates.
Back to School Footloose
This particular Footloose version has two purposes – it’s a short pre-assessment to see what students know coming into the year (geared toward 6th grade), AND it includes getting to know you questions….even if students answer the math question wrong, you’re learning a fact about them:-)
Students solve each of the 24 problems and record their answers in the corresponding boxes on their Footloose grids. Then, according to the answer, they respond to a getting to know you question and record that answer in the same box on the grid.
You can grab this freebie on TPT too, or as part of the free download if you opt in for my email updates.
Math About Me
This one is a series of math-related questions for students, to help you understand more about their math 'status' - how they feel about math, what they like/dislike, etc. This one is part of the opt in download.
Who Can You Find?
This one is a great to help students get to know each other and many of the questions tie into math. This one is also part of the opt in download.
Meet the Mathematician
This is an easy way for students to share a little about themselves in math land! They can work creatively, and take some time to color the background. These also make a great display!
Students can get into small groups and share their mathematician facts:-)
I hope you can use a few of these activities when you head back to school!
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Hi, I'm Ellie! My mission here is to support teachers as they work to provide engaging, meaningful experiences for their students. I've been in education for 25 years, teaching all subject areas at both the elementary and middle school levels, and am here to share what I've learned through those years, as well as what I continue to learn. I hope you'll find some ideas or resources here to help you out!