First Week of School Activity Ideas

YAY! I’m officially a teacher with my own grade!  🙌🏼 So…. now what do I do with them????

Ahh, the long awaited first week of school! Whether you’ve been in the teaching game for years and you’re in need of some back to school activities, or it’s your first day as a full-fledged teacher, the first day jitters are bound to creep in regardless of how long you’ve spent preparing for this moment! 

Your students are more than likely experiencing a serious case of the first day nerves, too. The uncertainty that comes with an unfamiliar classroom, a whole sea of new faces and the prospect of making friends - putting yourself in their tiny shoes for a moment can be quite daunting (and uncomfortable, ha)!

Printed cards from my Back to School activities pack are arranged against a pink background.
You have enough on your plate in the first week of school as it is - let alone trying to plan five days’ worth of activities! That’s where my First Week Back to School Pack is a major lifesaver - 54 pages jam-packed with resources to make your first week of school a breeze!  

This is where it’s your time to shine as a teacher and make their transition into the classroom as easy and fun as possible. Not only will a great first week ease those anxious minds, it will also set the tone for a great year together in the classroom. 

So, BFFs, take a deep breath in and out, shake off those first day jitters and get those first week of school activity ideas sorted. Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Here are my ideas to help you nail your first week in the classroom with your little learners.


Give Them a Warm Welcome!

It’s amazing what a warm welcome can do to ease your students’ nerves and kick-start an awesome teacher-student bond. 

 A framed sign sits on a desk that reads “Welcome to Prep J.” Behind the sign are colourful reading group organisers and a teacher toolbox with rainbow labels.
It’s little touches like this that can make all the difference to your little learners! 

Place an editable Boho Rainbow Welcome Poster on or near your classroom door with your grade name as you welcome your students into their new classroom for the year. Not only does it introduce your super stylish theme from the get go, it’s also a great way to let your students know that you’re excited to have them!

You could also transform your classroom door into a welcome display that can not only greet your students on their first day, but welcome any visitors to your classroom throughout the year!

With my editable Door Displays, you can print out a label for each student in your class and create a personalised welcome poster for the first day! There are 4 different poster designs included in this resource, so you have complete free rein to create something special for your students.

A graphic displaying welcoming door posters and labels in a spotty design with neutral colours in pink, blue and yellow tones.

Grab my Spotty Boho Door Display on its own or as part of the decor bundle along with 26 other must-have resources for your new classroom! 

 

Capture Those First Day Memories

Cue the absolutely too-cute, oversized uniforms and bags bigger than the student. The first day of school is a momentous occasion for your little learners and I love to capture the memory, for the students and parents alike. 

My adorable First day of school signs are the perfect prop for your student to proudly hold as you capture a happy snap that they’ll look back on in years to come. Not only is it a great way to get your students’ days started with a fun activity, it’s also a one-way ticket to being in the good books with the parents (and who knows, maybe even scoring yourself a great end of year gift!).

A graphic for my First Day of School Sign in the botanical theme. The graphic includes thumbnails of the editable sign as well as a printed and framed version. It has a white background with botanical leaves around the border.
Check out all my First Day of School Signs here

Plus, it’s so amazing to compare them on the last day of school and see how much they’ve grown. I am a huge crier when it comes to the end of the year, so this was a LITTLE like self-torture… but so worth it! 



Establish Your Classroom Rules

The first week of school is a great time (and let’s be honest… the only time) for you to establish your classroom rules and expectations for your students. 

It doesn’t have to be so serious though, there are totally fun and inclusive ways for you to create rules *together*. Giving your students a sense of responsibility makes them want to uphold the rule that they helped create (handy little trick of the trade!) A hand holds an illustrated student booklet that reads ‘Our classroom rules,’ above two illustrated school children. The booklet has a blue border with white spots. When your students are involved in creating your classroom rules, that sense of ownership will be more effective in getting them to behave than even your glariest of teacher glares!

My Back to School Activities Pack features a great resource for laying out the rules together, that uses positive and inclusive language to create a positive attitude towards classroom rules. Creating a sense that you’re all on the same team will make your students more willing to hold themselves accountable and work towards the common goal! A set of white paper worksheets are fanned out across a pink background. The first worksheet reads ‘my first week of school’ with an illustrated girl smiling and holding a piece of paper. Having been through a few ‘first weeks’ in my time as a teacher, I found that having a go-to set of activities was an absolute game-changer and lifted so much of the pressure that I was putting on myself! It’s since become one of my best-selling resources, so obviously a lot of teachers feel the same way. 

Keep your classroom rules clear and concise and implement them in a way that is... well, as fun as rules can be. 

A graphic for my Back to School Activities Pack, featuring pictures of the activities. They are printed on white card with illustrations of children alongside the text.
This Back to School Activities Pack has got your back in that all-important first week of school!

 

Bond Over These First Week of School Books

The first week can be overwhelming for both you and your students, so a great first week of school activity idea when everyone needs a bit of a breather is to enjoy a good book as a class. 

One of my absolute favourite books to read aloud to my students on the first day of school is the genius First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. 

Not only is reading to the class a great and fun way to engage your students, the narrative behind
First Day Jitters is about as perfect as it gets for your little learners. The book has a gorgeous little plot twist that reveals to students that teachers get nervous on the first day of school, too… gassssp! 

The cover of the book “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg which features a cat and dog comforting a child hiding under a blanket, looking at a calendar with the first day of school circled.
I have so many fond memories of reading this book to my classes over the years! 

This can create a sense of comradery among the classroom, and can also lead to great classroom discussions about how everyone is feeling and lead the way for a strong student teacher relationship - a win-win! 

Old Friends, New Friends by Andrew Daddo is another beautiful first day classic that repositions those first day nerves about making new friends into ones of excitement!

Two books are pictured. First Day and Old Friends New Friends by Andrew Daddo

So, there you go BFF, some of my favourite back to school activities  for a great first week of school! I am *so* excited for you to spend time with your little learners and to set your class up for an amazing year. 

Let me know if you use any of these suggestions, or if you’d like to add some of your own down in the comments below!

 

Miss Jacobs Little Learners First Week of School Activities Blog Post

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