Where did the six weeks go, eh? Well, you were probably either in school, ill or asleep for most of them, but here’s hoping you at least got some time for a bit of much-needed R&R.
Well, while you still have a couple of weeks before it all starts again and you have the excitement of a brand new class to meet, try adding some of these ideas, activities and helpful resources to your teaching repertoire before the September term kicks in.
This is fun song to start a new school year for assemblies or the classroom, and it comes with piano/vocal sheet music, an audio backing track with instrumental melody and a lyrics sheet (that comes as a PowerPoint and PDF document).
Get your new class to learn about each other with these four back-to-school activities.
There’s a ‘getting to know you’ grid and a ‘getting to know you’ game, an activity where each student writes and draws about themselves for a class display and a ‘we are all part of this class’ activity where students’ individual puzzle pieces of their personality are weaved together.
Getting children to chat to each other on the first day back is easy with ‘Find a friend who…’ activity. Who is shy? Who can’t stay on task? This activity stamps ‘we are interested in one another and like to communicate’ on the class from the very first moment.
Other than the big events, and any that involve cake, it can be hard to keep up with the various awareness days and school initiatives. But never again miss Squirrel Appreciation Day (21 January), Be A Millionaire Day (easier said than done, 20 May) or Sauntering Day (19 June) with this Traidcraft calendar.
OK, so those particular examples might not be on there, but each addition to the calendar comes with relevant links to teaching resources. What more could you want?
Forrest Gump’s mother’s advice on life being like a box of chocolates is perhaps more apt for describing your new class. You’re sure they’re mostly lovely, but too much all at once is never fun, and there’s always the potential for one that’s a little harder to stomach than others.
Pivotal Education’s behaviour app means you can access free resources, articles and tips on classroom management, as well as listen to episodes of the Pivotal Podcast and more. And it’s available for Apple and Android devices.
Another of Mike’s excellent resources is this discussion toolkit, which guides you through a variety of activities you can use to structure and encourage discussion in the classroom. Given that many of your new students won’t know each other very well, or even at all, these can really help to break the ice in a way that isn’t forced or awkward.
The kit focuses on discussion, rather than debate, although many of the activities will work equally well for both, and there are lots of links should you want to follow ideas further.