Back to School: Get to Know You Activity

I don't know who is more nervous the first day of school, the students, the teachers, or the parents.  I never sleep well the first week of school.  I'm sure the parents and students don't get much sleep either.  One thing that does help relieve some of the anxiety of your students is if they have at least one friend.  They need a friend to sit by at lunch and play with at recess.  

There are a variety of ways that you can help foster friendships.  I like to give students buddies the first week of school.  The buddies sit by each other at lunch, at circle time, play together at recess, and are partner with our class activities.  

One of the Get-to-Know-You activities that I have used when I taught 3rd grade is a Venn diagram.  Buddies work together to see how they are alike and different.  When everyone is finished, partners share their findings with the class.  This is a fun thing to hang up for Back to School Night.

Click HERE to download this freebie.

I have tried different ways to choose buddies.  I have put popsicle sticks with boys' names in one cup and popsicle sticks with girls' names in another cup and drew 2 names out of a cup.  This way it was 2 girls or 2 boys that were partners.  Most of the time this worked alright.  Sometimes I have had classes that have a unique combination of personalities and behaviors.  When I get one of those classes, I arrange the buddies ahead of time and announce the partners in class.  The one thing that I do not do is let the students choose a partner or buddy.  I do not want the last few students to be chosen to feel unliked.  

Fern has a few tips about Get to Know you activities to share with you, too.  Be sure to hop over to her blog!

Fern and I are adding something new this summer.  Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading.  I love to read teacher blogs and the latest teacher idea books.  Stop by Fern's blog and my blog each week for Tuesday Teacher Tips.  We hope you will share your ideas, too.  

Each week we will choose one person who shared a tip on our blog who will get a $10 shopping trip.  We will announce the winner in the following Tuesday's post.  The winner for this post will be announced next week.

The winner of last week's post is:

Click HERE to read Courtney's tip which is located in the comment section.

Do you have a Get-to-Know-You tip to share?  Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you're the winner of the $10 shopping trip.

Looking for more ideas?  Check out these!

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Katie said...

The venn diagram idea is cute! This will actually be my first year in THREE years that I'll have to really focus on these type of activities. I looped with my class in 2011-2012 for 3 years :) loved it!! We had a little fun the first day and then got right down to business. I remember making it a game the first day to see who could name everyone in the class first. We would practice randomly throughout the first few days and whenever we would line up. The students who beat me to it loved it even more ;) haha

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empoe12 said...

Love your Venn Diagram idea! I will definitely be using that next week! This is my first year teaching, but for a "get to know you" tip I would say to...make sure to not only include partner get to know you activities but whole class and teacher ones as well! I think a classroom environment ends up better when you know your students and they know you too!