The beginning of the year is incredibly important to get to know your students!
What makes the beginning of the year even easier is when you have activities ready to help you learn more about your students.
There are so many fun activities out there that are creative, engaging, elaborate….and likely, costs extra money.
Over the years with teaching, I’ve seen and done many different activities for the first couple weeks of school to get to know my students – and many of them can be done for free, or cheap!
There’s nothing wrong with creating elaborate activities or spending money on them. But if you’re hoping to not spend as much money this year, or only have a few minutes to prep for an activity, something quick and easy is the way to go! I’ve even found the students love the most simple activities the most.
Below are different ideas for no (or low) prep, get to know your student activities to make the beginning of the year a bit easier!
Two Truths and a Lie
Have students share two truths and a lie about themselves and have the class guess which one is the lie. You can have students write these down on a piece of paper, on a notecard, or you can download this freebie template for students to use!
This activity is also great to use because you can easily adapt it for different grade levels. Younger students can do simpler statements and sentences, while older students can try to add more details and answer questions from classmates to see if they can guess the lie. Fun and simple!
Are you more like…?
Have you ever asked your students if they would rather do one thing or another? This activity is super similar! In this activity, students are asked a series of “would you rather” questions for them to choose between. Then, they move to the side of the room of the object or thing they feel they align with the most. You can have students share their points of view or start class discussions based on the answers.
These questions could be as simple or silly as you like! Some examples could be:
- Are you more like a cat or a dog?
- Are you more like a mountain or an ocean?
- Are you more like polka dots or stripes?
- Are you more like a sunrise or a sunset?
After they choose, then they can have a fun class discussion between the two choices! This can lead to fun discussions and practicing empathy and understanding for students who feel similarly or differently.
You can make this in your own PowerPoint presentation or in a Google Slides file. You can also follow the link here to purchase one I’ve already made!
Have students interview each other and then share what they learned about their partner with the class. This can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like! You could have students ask each other three specific questions to present answers on or have students create their own questions to ask each other. Then, students could create their own presentation to introduce their interviewee to the class. While this would be easier with older grades, younger students could have a simpler set of questions to ask each others.
Get to Know You Activities
You can do so many different variations of this! This allows students to be creative about themselves and showcase what they love. This could include:
- Scavenger Hunts
Simple does not have to mean boring! Doing simple activities and giving your students options to express themselves will help build rapport and classroom management quicker.
Thanks for reading, and happy teaching!\
Need more ideas for activities? Then take a look at my other blog posts below! Click around and find other tips and tricks for teachers.