Once you’ve set down some rules and guideline in your classroom, there are so many fun things to do on that first day of second grade! The list below contains ideas, suggestions, and books that can be used to get the year off to a great start!
1. Name Game: Sit everyone in a circle. The teacher begins with, “My name is ______, and I______”. The student to the right of the teacher repeats, “Her (the teacher) name is ______ and she______. My name is ___________ and I like to ___________.” The game continues with the person repeating what the individual before him/her just said, and then they introduce themselves. After the circle is complete, a review of names and likes is repeated together. This is a cute and easy way to get to know everyone’s names on the first day of second grade!
2. Star Student - The first week of school, I (the teacher) am the start student. I fill out the star student board with facts all about me. I bring in pictures of my family, my friends, my pets, vacations, etc. to share with the children. I also bring in something for show and tell. This helps the children get to know me a little bit better on the first day of school and it also shows them how the weekly star routine works!
3. Writing Activity - Read Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods that Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis. This is a very funny story and the children always get a kick out of the main character’s moods! After reading this story, have the children write about how they are feeling. Start them off with: “Today on the first day of second grade. Last night I felt______. I felt ____________when I was getting ready this morning. Right now I feel__________ and I am feeling _____________ about second grade.” I then have them add on a couple more sentences on their own. Once they are finished, I let them illustrate their mood on a blank face di-cut. The children are then allowed to share what they have written. This is also a good informal writing assessment to see how they are writing. **Before starting this activity, tie it in with the first Writer’s Workshop mini-lesson to let students know expectations for their writing. ***
4. Math Activity – Pass out a bag of M&M’s to each child. Read the book More M&M’s Chocolate Candies Math by Barbara McGrath. The children will add, subtract, sort, and graph their candies in this fun, hands-on, yummy math activity for the first day of second grade! This is also a great informal assessment to see how their math skills are!
5. Don’t forget to take their pictures (alone) at some point during the day! You WILL use it for some type of memory book or first day of school gift for parents!
6. Classmate Survey – The children will LOVE going around the room finding out facts about their new friends on the first day of school! This is another informal assessment to see who can read their papers and who is having troubles…
7. Take the children on a tour of the school, whether they are new or not. Practice correct procedures for the hall, the lunchroom, the library, dismissal routines, bathrooms, etc!
8. Windows on my first week of second grade: At the end of each day of the first week of school, I have my students color a picture of the events of their day in a window pane I have copied onto white paper. In each of the four panes, they write something about that day. We do one for each day of that first week, then we place all five windows into a folder that is labeled “Looking at my first week in second grade”. This is also a cute place to put other keepsakes from those first few days (like a photo!).
9. First day â€œkissâ€ – I send the children home with a note that says, “You had a great first day of second grade, you deserve a KISS!” and a Hershey’s Kiss!
If you have any other great ideas for the first day of school for second graders, please share them below!