How to Beat Back to School Jitters


The first day of school is a time of great excitement and a lot of nerves. What would surprise the most anxious student though is how nerve wracking the first day can be for their teachers! The first day of school can make or break a classroom and every teacher wants to leave their students excited and full of energy once their students leave their classroom.

Great first-day activities can be the subject of conversation on the bus or car ride home and can make the teacher the talk of the town in the cafeteria and the halls. If you are looking for fun first-day activities, your search is over. Here are back-to-school activities that will capture your student’s attention and their imagination.

First Day Of School Math: Escape Room

Math is one of those classes that draws a love or hate relationship from kids. The main complaint with those that don’t like the subject is that it is boring. Well, that doesn’t always have to be the case. An awesome first-day activity is to create a math-based escape room in your class!

No matter if you are an evil genius that has trapped the class or are traveling from the future to get their help to save the world, the premise is the same. As a teacher, you can create and hide several clues to solve the escape room in the class. In order for students to find each clue, they need to work together to solve a series of math problems. While this can take a long time and a lot of preparation to set up, you would be amazed at how quickly everyone jumps on board to help solve the puzzle, and it gets those kids who normally don’t like math involved too! For more ideas for the first day of school math activities, click the link.

Writing Class: Summer Story With a Twist

Everyone has written the “Story of my Summer” paper in their writing classes more times than they care to remember. It’s played out, boring, and for many kids, a trip to the dentist is more fun than writing a paper. With this activity though, you are taking the first day zero and turning it into a hero.

After classroom introductions and giving the kids a basic idea of who you are, challenge them to write a story about the summer. This will undoubtedly be met with groans and complaints. However, once the groaning and moaning are finished, let the students know the twist. They’re going to write a story about what you did all summer long! Whether that is an absurd story about how you got lost in the mountains or your secret summer superhero identity is up to them!

Before the end of the class period, have volunteers share the silliness they came up with. As they head out the door, challenge them to write their own fictional short story about their summer. This gets kids excited about writing and can help break the ice between you and your class.

Drama or Speech: Classroom Introductions Chaos Style

For drama and speech classes it is easy to take the normal classroom instructions and spice it up with a little bit of chaos! For this first-day activity the following things may be helpful:

  • Randomized spin wheel
  • Deck of flashcards
  • Mug of popsicle sticks

No matter which option you choose you are going to create a pool of jobs for people such as:

  • Racecar driver
  • Politician
  • Infomercial salesman
  • Cowboy

Each student is going to have to give a small speech and introduce themselves to the class, but only after they have gotten a randomized job. For example, if you were to pick “cowboy,” you might introduce yourself by galloping into the front of the class, tipping your hat, and introducing yourself in a slow drawl. This activity has kids coming out of their shells and gives them a chance to be silly. What more could you want from a first-day activity?

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By Sidharth

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