During the first two weeks of school, it’s okay if you’re not drilling the students with content all day, every day. Creating a positive, happy, and safe community is of huge importance that some may skip out on in order to start getting into the content. However, getting to know each other is essential.
Yes, teachers have to follow curriculum maps and scope/sequences, but by giving your kids 5-10 minutes a day to truly gain relationships with other classmates, and with you will pay off 100% at the end of the year.
Let them get to know each other
Fun games and activities in the first few weeks of school for “getting to know each other” may take 5-10 minutes of instructional time, but that’s okay if you’re successfully building a community in your classroom. Here are a few very quick games that your kiddos can play without taking too much instructional time away from your day.
Games for Getting to Know Each Other
Getting to Know Each Other Through Communication, Team Building, and Social Skills
Have you ever heard of Kagan? He made several structures for cooperative learning. They’re a staple in a classroom. It gives the students practice with communication, team building, and social skills. We work through several of the structures in the first month of school. My kiddos love mix-pair-share and round-robin!
Cooperative Learning Activities
For a full pack on cooperative learning activities, click here!
2. Let them get to know you.
Find your favorite teacher bag. Fill it up with important things that describe you as a person. On the first day, unload the bag and describe each item. For example, last year, I unpacked a picture of my family, a few books, some pictures of the beach, running shoes, M&Ms, Kcups, a half-marathon medal, my diploma, and more!
(Source: Yeehaw Teaching in Texas)
I love Sarah’s idea of making a giant “getting to know you” book.
(Source: Confessions of a Teaching Junkie)
3. Let them showcase themselves
Having a wall of “all about me” crafts inside of the classroom is something that I have always done. In the first few days, the kiddos complete their all about me book craft, and as they finish up, we put them on the wall. As they get added, the kiddos get to present their book to their classmates.
Or create a wall of portraits with NO names! It’s a fun game to play in the class and for when parents come in for Open House or Curriculum Night.