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Back-to-school season is here! The excitement of the new year is in full swing with school supplies back on the shelves and teacher planning underway. The first week of school can be an exciting time, but it can also cause stress for students and teachers alike. Having a well-planned list of first-week-of-school activities can set you up for a year of success. 

Make sure your schedule includes the following:

Get to Know Your School Activities

Starting the year at a new school, or even in a new classroom, can be overwhelming. Take the time to give your students a tour of their school. Introduce students to important figures they might need to know such as the principal, the librarian, the cafeteria staff, and the school nurse. This helps students feel more familiar with the people around them and turns strangers into friendly faces. 

Meet the Teacher Activities 

Tell your students about who you are and what you enjoy outside of the classroom. You can set up a slideshow all about your family, your pets, your hobbies, and your favorite foods. This will help students to find things they have in common with you to build connections and start conversations. You can also tell your students how long you have been a teacher and what you look forward to teaching them throughout the year.

Meet your Class Activities

Giving students activities to do together as a class can be a great way to make sure all students feel included. Set up a scavenger hunt or a peer interview. This will allow students a chance to get to know each other and feel more comfortable. Remember to have patience and allow students to open up at their own pace.

Get-to-Know-You Activities

Give students a chance to share about themselves through drawings, get-to-know-you worksheets, or show-and-tell. Providing a variety of get-to-know-you activities helps students to feel included and gives them a chance to find common interests with their peers and start building friendships.

Rules and Expectations

Explaining the rules and expectations for your classroom from the very first day can start the year off on the right foot. Print your class expectations and post them where they are visible to students. You can then refer back to these posters when students need a reminder of your expectations. Getting students involved in setting rules and expectations helps them to take ownership of their actions.

Parent Engagement Surveys 

Be sure to send parents all of your contact information so they know the best way to reach you. Likewise, sending out a parent survey can help you know the best way to contact them in the future. Asking parents about their child’s interests can also help you with lesson planning and classroom setup. 


Be sure to incorporate movement through games during the first week of school. Students may need time to adjust to being in a classroom environment and sitting all day. If you notice your class is getting the jitters, have some pre-planned games on hand to get students moving. 

Collaborative Art 

Plan a collaborative art project, such as This is Me! Collaborative Art Pack. A coloring activity like this can give students a chance to unwind during the day and get their creative juices flowing. Putting the finished collaborative art project on the wall can help students feel at home in the classroom. 

Take Advantage of Free Resources

Use resources such as Twinkl to find free activities for your class all year. Stock up on pre-selected activities that you can pull from in a pinch when things get busy.