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Preparing Elementary Students for The First Day of School

Preparing Elementary Students for The First Day of School

It is so fun to get to watch the light beaming in your 8 year olds eyes as they get excited about their first day of school. Nothing is more gratifying than to watch your children happy and excited. They will want to pack up their backpacks and ask you to go shopping for new colored pencils to fill their pencil box. When we think about getting ready for back to school, a lot of the things we think about are all the supplies we are going to buy. If you are a teacher or a homeschool mama, the things you might be doing to prepare will look a lot different. You will be more focused towards what you will teach your kids for the first week.  Here is a list of some fun things to do with your kids or students during the first week of school to help them gear up to learn again.

Start Simple With Games

Transitioning from summer back to learning again is sometimes a difficult process for kids, and even parents too. It will be hard to immediately start jumping into content, so you can start slowly to help your students while they adjust with some games. Some people might think that playing games in class is a waste of learning time, but it is actually a very important part of learning. If students are invested in what is going on in the classroom right from the first day, they will be more likely to participate later on as the year gets more tough, and be more comfortable to answer and ask questions. When we learn through playing, we are also more likely to retain that information. Here are some great back to school games you can play with your kids or students:

Get To Know You Icebreaker Games

The easiest way to do this is to get into small groups to play the games. This will help shy students be a little more vulnerable. Some games that are great for small groups are: 

  • Two truths and a lie
  • Conversation Jenga- kids play Jenga like normal, but each block will have a number which corresponds with a conversation starter question
  • Get to know you Bingo Cards- this game will be better for a larger group or whole class. An example on how to check a person off for a box would be “find someone who went to the movies this summer.” 

First Day Of School Math Worksheet Games

After the students have played their fun get to know you games, you can still continue the game aspect while adding in some content learning. This will show students that learning math can still be fun. 

  • You can have students gather in their groups to work on their 4th grade math worksheets together. They can make it a game to see who can complete theirs the quickest, and whoever does, can help out those that are struggling to complete it. You can always add prizes for the fastest finishers. Adding competition will always add more fun to a less fun assignment. 
  • Mental Math with “War”- Students will play war with a deck of cards. Each student will flip 2 cards and will have to quickly add up in their heads whose cards add up to be more, whoever wins, gets to take both piles of cards. Speed is important. 

Try not to stress about going back to school. Even if you are stressed, a positive attitude is so contagious and will help your students and kids to be excited and ready for what’s ahead of them. 

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