By Kelli Drummer-Avendano
It’s a hard task to go from vacation mode to learning mode all in one day. To make the Back-to-School transition easier, teachers can fill the first few days with activities designed to help everyone feel welcome and more prepared. Here are four ideas that’ll get students ready for a great year.
#1- Back-to-School: Practice school routines.
Practicing school routines (even with older students) is a no-pressure way to introduce expectations. To help kids deal with the stress and anxiety of a new beginning, let them explore what they’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis, such as putting their belongings away, sitting in their seat, asking for help, standing in line, or listening attentively during storytime. For this part of the day, choose a book that’s sure to help kids laugh their worries away. A great story for this is Como esconder un león en la escuela. This title is a part of Dos Tomatillos ¡Me encanta leer! K-2 Library and is one of six books in their fun back-to-school collection. After reading, students can come up with imaginative ways they would try to hide a lion in their school.
#2- Back-to-School: Make a bucket list.
To get students of all ages excited for the school year, encourage them to think about what they want to achieve in the next nine months. The goal could be academic, extracurricular, or as simple as saying hello to a new student. Have them write down their goals and hand them in. They can be confidential or something they share with the class if they feel comfortable. You can put them away for safekeeping and then hand them back at the end of every quarter so students can check on their progress and update or change goals as the year progresses.
#3- Back-to-School: Play “Simon says.”
Little kids love to tell adults what to do; that’s why games like “Simon says” are a sure hit. However, it’s also a great way to hone their listening skills. They can practice following simple and even multi-step directions, such as “Simon says pat your tummy and stick out your tongue.” The teacher can start as Simon and give directions for silly actions interspersed with things kids would be expected to do at school. When it’s a student’s turn to be Simon, let him or her eventually trip you up, that way you can remind students that even adults need to practice listening and sometimes they make mistakes, too.
#4- Back-to-School: Create a wanted ad.
To help children visualize the characteristics of a successful student, have them write a wanted ad from the perspective of a teacher or principal. This activity also allows them to cultivate a sense of responsibility for their own behavior and feelings of empathy for others. To get their creative juices flowing, first read the book Se busca lobo by award-winning author Ana Maria Machado. In this story, readers discover what happens when a man named Manual Lobo answers the wanted ad for an actual wolf! Students are sure to enjoy this tale and others from the dos tomatillos ¡Me encanta leer! 3-5 Library, that will get them excited about reading. You can extend the activity by having them respond to the wanted ad they wrote with a letter explaining why they are qualified for the position of “student” at your school.
You Might Also Like