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5 Great Back-to-School Activities that Put Students in Charge

Back-to-School!  It has creeped up upon us!  So, it is time to start thinking about what you can do to help you have a great Back-to-School and keep your students engaged to learn!  Let's take a look at 5 great Back-to-School Activities that put students in charge and help you create community and build expectations at the same time!  

Back-To-School Activity #1:

Cootie Catchers!  These fun Cootie Catchers serve a bigger purpose than just a game for students.  They actually serve two purposes.  The first purpose allows students to meet and greet each other over the course of the first week of school.  By simply having a group of students be the "asker" and a group of students be the "answers", students can build community through this collaborative talk time.  Think "talking with a purpose!"

The second purpose of these Cootie Catchers is to teach both questioning skills and LISTENING skills. There are 3 different Cootie Catchers that engage students in the skill of listening and replying to questions. The first one provides basic questions and the others progress to more complete questions and answers. Plus, you get a Teacher Tracker to record how students are doing and any observations you make about their skills of listening and replying to what they are asked!

As a BONUS, question word posters are included. This is so you can go over what each of the question words mean and what they are actually asking of the listener - soon to be writer or test taker! I have seen students really struggling with what questions are REALLY asking of them. By taking time at the beginning of the year and practicing both oral questions with the Cootie Catchers and the posters, it really puts students in charge of their learning. Grab them here!

Back-To-School Activity #2:

Looking to grab some data about writing? This FREE Back-to-School Writing Pretest could be exactly what you need! It is print and go ready and students love it. It could be used as an individual, small group, or whole group activity. You get to decide! It comes with 2 essays for students to read and all the forms that students need to give you the data you need! Grab it for FREE here or jump on over to this blog post to learn more!

Back to School Activity #3:

While we are talking about getting some data, #3 of the 5 Great Back-to-School Activities that put students in charge is SCOOT! Have you ever played Scoot? My students love it every year! Scoot can be played with almost any subject or book you are working with. For this list, we are looking at MATH and, specifically, where students are at with regrouping. Plus, add in a digital element which will make Social Distancing in the classroom or online more fun!

In this Scoot, students are given two digit numbers to add together. As a teacher, you can decide if they just use regular paper to solve or the SCOOT page found here! Did I mention that this is FREE!

Back to School Activity #4:

Scavenger Hunts are the fourth item I'd like to share with Great Back-to-School activities that put your students in charge! These fun scavenger hunts can help your students get to know one another through asking questions about their summer, their interests, their new classroom rules and procedures, and even content subjects they are learning about! What's even greater is you can get a FREE sample of one of these Scavenger Hunts by signing up for my news letter! (Offer good from June-September as this freebie will change will the seasons!) Grab it while you can!

Back to School Activity #5:

Students just LOVE Social Media - even if they are "playing" it. #5 Great Back-to-School activities that put your students in charge does just that - Tweet Your Classroom! Students enjoy learning about their classroom by getting up and getting moving right away. Best of all, you can gather real data about student behavior and interactions through this activity. How are they interacting with each other? Who pairs up right away? Who is a leader? Who is shy? Plus, there are a whole week's worth of activities that allow students to be in charge of their own learning, the first week of school!

With that, I hope I have given you some amazing ideas for your Back-to-School classroom! I truly enjoy using them in my classroom and I hope you will too!

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