First Week of School Planning.. oh my!!!

We've all been there and most have done it. The first week of school is the hardest! New students, setting up routines, taming behaviors, assessments and more. Each year, I think oh this year the first week will be so much easier, I've done it before, WRONG! I am always so nervous, never sure what to do, and I have a fear I will forget a procedure or I won't set expectations high enough, or question if they like me, if I'll be good ect.

This year, I'm calling it an adventure. I am in a new grade, with the same students from two years ago, with a whole new curriculum and I am nervous! I have started to plan, but I can't do the same thing I've always done. I would love to hear some of your ideas for back to school activities for the upper grades especially. I have done many great things in the past that I am going to share, I hope maybe you find these useful.

I have read First Day Jitters, which is amazing! Also to teach about character and being happy with you are I have read Chrysanthemum, and this year I am reading the Name Jar, which also helps you realize that you are special regardless of what others think. To show that you treat others is important I have read Have you Filled a Bucket Today, this is a FABULOUS book about how everyone carries around an invisible bucket and it's full when you do nice things for others and it's empty when you do mean things to others. I love to read a book a day that teachers during the first week! Any suggestions?? I LOVE reading to my students, no matter what age!

I have also done the basics like classroom scavenger hunts, people scavenger hunts, and time capsules. I love the time capsule, and the kids love opening it at the end of the year! They realize that they change so much in a year! What are some of your favorite activities??

One activity I love to do to model mutual respect that I have for the students is do draw two posters. One of Miss Nelson, from Miss Nelson is missing and one of David from No David. I have the students share the expectations they have of me, and then they share expectations they have of themselves. It's a great way to see what they expect.

I am so excited to meet my kids and get the first week under my belt. :) Bye bye summer, see you next year!!!


  1. Your first week activities sound fun! I love the Miss Nelson and David lessons. I think the older kids would love that. Do you do anything about yourself for the kids? I always made a powerpoint with lots of pictures to show the kids who the teacher is and what my interest are. They loved seeing the books I read, my favorite foods, what my family and pets looked like and of course my travels!

  2. Great first week activities! One thing I do which my kids love is have them write three facts on an index cards.

    Fact 1) Something they have in common with MOST people in the room (I am a 6th grader, I am a Neely O'Brien Student, etc.)

    Fact 2) Something they have in common with SOME people in the room (I am a girl, I wear glasses, I have a sister, etc.)

    Fact 3) Something they are sure that is unique to just them (I have a cat named Barbara, I was born on May 29th in Lewiston, etc.)

    I collect the cards, then throughout the first week whenever I we have a transition time or moment to spare, I ask all the kids to stand up, and I pick a card to read the facts. The kids stay standing as long as the fact applies to them, so when I read the first one they should all be standing. When I read the second fact, some sit down, and by the time I read the 3rd fact, only the person who wrote the card should be standing. It's a fun way for kids to get to know each other and share about themselves.

  3. You go back so early!!! That is very exciting about moving up grade levels. I wanted to comment on the bucket filling book. It is a great one! Our whole school reads this at the beginning of each year...the guidance counselor comes and reads it to each class which the kids love. It is our school-wide good behavior plan. I think it is great walking down the hall and hearing "That was so nice. So and so just filled my bucket." The kids really grab on to it and even the kindergarteners understand it. Good luck this year!


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