What are some fun getting to know each other activities to complete with children on the first day of school?

I will be certified to teach in less than a year and I learned that the first day of school is one of the most important days of the whole school year.  What are some engaging getting to know each other activities.  Also, what are some important things to go over with the class on the first day of school?

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Classroom hunts are a lot of fun - provide students with a list of things that they need to know or be able to locate around the room; have them work with a partner or on their own to locate everything.

The "Two Truths and a Lie" game is another one to get students to share a little about themselves - students do exactly what you would think; they come up with two true statements about themselves and then one lie; the rest of the students are to determine which of the three is the lie; the student who gets it correct goes next; rise, repeat!

Those are great ideas, thank you!

I like this easy memory game as students learn each others names and a little about each other.

Get them sitting in a circle. You start by introducing yourself and say one thing about yourself (e.g. sports or foods you like, where you are from, how many people in your family), the next student must introduce you and repeat your fact and then introduce themslves and say something about them. In theory the last person is repeating the names of everyone in he circle. But it gets hard after about 5-6 people, so you can modify it if the group is large.



I do autographs please. I make a bingo-type board an fill it with things like "A student with the same first and last initial," "A student that wears glasses." I give the students 10 minutes to find as many autographs as they can. Afterwards I read each box and the students can stand up if they fit that particular criteria. I make sure I join in as well.

We do "Bio Bingo" and "Alpha-Seating" Games on the first day of school.  I teach 6th Grade Technology Integration so all of my students attended one of 4 elementary schools in our corporation the year before. 


The Bio Bing is a bingo game I made up.  The kids all get a sheet.  Their are descriptions in each box.  They are like "Find a student with more than 5 pets.  Find a student who has visited another country.  Find a student from a different elementary school than you.  Find a student who has attended a school corporation different than ours at some point.  etc"

When they find a student that meets the criteria, they have them sign their name in the box.  First one to five in a row, yells "Bingo!"  Then I take up their sheet, and go over it with the class, talking to the students they had sign their sheet and getting to know some students.



The Alpha-Seating is where I have the students sit in Alphabetical order all by themselves.  I dont help at all.  They have to talk to each other, sharing their names.  I will see some kids stand in a corner, and other run around being the leaders and organizing others.  It is a great way to see leaders emerge from day one. Finally, I pass around a sheet, they sign their names and BOOM I have a seating chart.


Then we start going over the class rules!!

I'm not sure what grade or subject your teaching, but my 12 year old used Wordle in  her class.  They were asked to input words that describe them and the program gave them an interesting patern of colors and text that was unique to each student.  They did something fun and the teacher learned a lot about each student.

I think that the first day should be structured but also can be filled with games. Something to get the students to know one another and for you to get to know them. I do think that its more the teacher who is the one getting to know all the students because usually the students already know most of each other. Also going over the rules and regulations of the classroom would be a good thing to do the first day of school, as well as possibly highlighting some of the fun projects that you may have planned for the upcoming month or even year.



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