Well, tomorrow’s the big day! My classroom is looking pretty, my syllabi are ready to go (almost), and I’m anxious for my room to be full of bubbling teenagers once again in the morning (I’m already planning my nap for the afternoon too)!
Our first day of school has abbreviated classes because there is an assembly and extended “homeroom” time for distributing paperwork, etc. Each block ends up being only about 45 minutes (instead of the usual 90), and nine years of experience have taught me that at least 15 of that needs to be devoted to letting kids squeal over seeing each other, fill me in on their summer, etc. Although I know there’s a lot of talk about “jumping right in,” I find that it’s better to take things easy on the first day and jump in on the second and third. So, for the last few years, I’ve stuck with a simple ice breaker on the first day (like two truths and a lie, Twitterature, or six-word memoirs) followed by a rousing rendition of “course syllabus and procedures” using my meme Powerpoint.
This year, for a fun twist, I’m adding a Class Procedures BINGO game to the mix.
I actually got the idea for this from our staff-inservice day – one of the assistant principals organized it, and I noticed it kept us slightly more engaged and excited about the mundane information being shared. Basically, I’ve created several different cards with terms that I’m likely to say while going over the syllabus and above Powerpoint: “respect,” “policy,” “late-work,” “credit,” “Sam and Nora,” and my trademark – “hilarious,” to name a few. I will hand out the cards to students as they come in and instruct them to circle or mark off the word on their card if they hear me say it, and yell “BINGO” (of course) when they get five in a row. Then, I’ve got a box full of random school supplies (composition notebooks, pencils, post-its, etc.) to give as prizes to the winners.
It could be a disaster… But it could be really fun!
In case you want to take your chances and try it too, I’m including a link to my actual Bingo cards as a Word document below. I went ahead and took out the words personal to me and left blanks there so you can add your own kids’/dogs’/principal’s names, college, etc. This document has 9 different cards, which means that two or three kids in each class will have the same one. I’m OK with that, but you can easily copy/paste the template and make more variations too if you want.
Click here to access and download: Back to School Bingo Boards
If you try it – or have done something like this before – I’d love to hear how it goes!
In the meantime, I’ll see you Thursday with an update on the first day and – super important – what I wore. 😉
Have a great day!
P.S. Don’t forget to share my FREE Maternity Leave eCourse (and Checklist) for Teachers with your pregnant teacher-friends (or on your Facebook/Pinterest/etc.) I LOVE being able to share free resources with you, and your support in this little project means SO much to me!!!
Jacklyn T. says
Thank you! I love this idea. I may even use it with parents during Back to School Night.
Eileen McGrath says
Just wondering how this idea went! I’m looking for ideas to make my first day at least a little more interesting since I find a course overview and an ice breaker can be a little too mundane. Did this go well? Any feedback for what you may do differently? Thanks!
Sarah Ross-Koves says
Elizabeth has saved the day again…I think I have enough for the first week. Thanks
Hi! Thank you so much for sharing this. I used it with my kiddos from grade 5 to grade 8, and it was great. The kids figured out they could try to “trick me” into saying the words, so it meant that they asked a lot of questions and really paid attention.