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17 Fun First Day of School Activities to Try This Year

activities for new students

Reviewed by Meredith Melvin, B.Ed.

Easily differentiate learning and engage students with Prodigy Math.

Whether you’ve been teaching for years or it’s your first day as a full-time teacher, the first day of school is usually accompanied by some anxiety — no matter how prepared you might be.  

It’s the same for students. Uncertainty about friends, teachers, and schoolwork is enough to make even the most extroverted students a bit nervous.

With that in mind, you should always consider that first day of school activities can stimulate introductions, get students talking, and set the tone for successful classroom management .

Get inspired by these 17 fun, creative first day of school activities and try them out yourself. They’re easy, free, and guaranteed to ease the tension on a busy, hectic first day of school.

Plus, we've added some of our favorite remote- and social distancing-friendly activity ideas toward the end.

1. Prodigy Math

Try Prodigy Math — a curriculum-aligned game-based learning platform for grades 1 to 8 — to engage your class while reinforcing lesson content and teaching essential skills.

Borrowing hyper-engaging elements from video games, students use Prodigy Math to compete in math duels against in-game characters. To win, they have to answer sets of skill-testing math questions. It's a great way to get kids excited about learning on the first day of school and beyond.

Prodigy uses adaptive learning and differentiated instruction principles to personalize learning.

Use it on the first day of school to get valuable student insights , pre-teach upcoming concepts and understand learning progress all year round.

Plus, there's a Placement Test that starts gathering insights as soon as students start their first math battle, and automatically runs every  January and August . 

The Placement Test determines the math content students see in-game and places students at the grade level that’s right for them. It’s the baseline that all their other math work in Prodigy builds on.

2. Find a friend

The “Find a friend” game is a fun activity designed to help students become comfortable with their new classmates. To play, students must first receive worksheets containing a list of topics — such as sports, foods, games, and so on — from which they must pick their favorites.


Image source:  First Grade Schoolhouse, Teachers Pay Teachers

Distribute the worksheet to students, and allow five minutes or so for everyone to indicate their favorite categories with a pen or pencil. You can create your own worksheet or access free printables such as the one above.

Then, have students find fellow classmates fitting the description in each box. This will give them a natural talking point as they meet one another — helping them find what they have in common and sparking friendly interaction .

3. “Who’s new?” word search

Use a free word search generator such as Discovery Education’s puzzle maker to create a word search using the names of your students as the hidden words. Print copies to place on each desk.

Students will enjoy searching for their names along with those of their classmates. After 10 minutes or so, students naturally begin helping each other — kindling conversation and facilitating introductions.

4. Thanks for the compliment!

This lighthearted, confidence-boosting icebreaker encourages students to share compliments about one another.

To start, every student gets a blank piece of paper taped to their back. Then, each classmate thinks of a compliment to write down on the back of every other student.

After the entire class is finished, have students remove their papers and read all the compliments they received in front of the class.

Review with your students what a compliment is (and isn’t) to be sure all compliments are appropriate.


5. Let's decorate

Invite students to help decorate the classroom — sending the message that their opinions are valued, their voices are heard, and you welcome their presence .

Split the class into four groups and designate each group to a wall. Distribute materials such as markers, posters, tape, and pieces of chart paper. For a personalized touch, have each group come up with one common goal they wish to accomplish in your class, and to summarize it in one word.


Next, have students write their words in big letters on the chart paper, ensuring each group has a unique goal.

Once the class is finished, hang them on each designated wall, encouraging your class to embrace the responsibility of making sure they all achieve the goals they set for the end of the school year.

6. “Would You Rather” Questions

Lead, guide, and stimulate healthy debate among students with a set of questions that are sure to get the classroom talking.

Consider a few examples of “would you rather” questions, such as:

To keep the class on the same page, consider preparing a few questions on a printable such as the one below.


7. Group contracts

Write group contracts containing guidelines, and have everyone sign them to foster effective student group work and good behavior in the classroom.

Group contracts — an important feature of cooperative learning — should be based on expectations students and teachers have for one another.

You can collect the class’s thoughts by talking about what the ideal group member does, and how he or she behaves. Once you’ve come up with the contract, brainstorm with students to come up with consequences for breaking expectations.


Image Source:  The Creative Colorful Classroom

For example, in the flexible seating contract above, students agree to use the learning space appropriately. If they break the contract, students agree “that my teacher will move me to a spot that will better meet my needs.”

8. Student surveys

Use surveys to collect and assess information about a broad range of topics that will help you get a feel for your new students and guide them to success this school year.

Consider asking questions about preferences for seating arrangements, group work versus individual work, and noise levels in the classroom.

Use this information to get a better sense of trends in the classroom. See if you can use the information to differentiate instruction, assessment, and evaluation to improve the learning environment.

One of the qualities of a good teacher is the capacity to use different teaching strategies — especially ones that are responsive to different students’ unique learning preferences.

For example, consider taking a survey of how students like to learn, asking the following yes or no questions:


Endless engagement. Adaptive content. Standards-aligned.

Join millions of teachers using Prodigy to make math and English fun, differentiate instruction and help students love learning!

9. Classroom scavenger hunts

Send your students on a classroom scavenger hunt, helping them to get to know each other and their new learning space .

Provide a print-out of classroom items to look for, leaving a space for students to write a brief description of where they found each item.

The completed scavenger hunt sheets can serve as an easy reference for students in the first weeks of school to ensure they know where to find everything in your classroom.

You can make the list of items yourself, or use a free printable such as the example below.


10. Two truths and a lie

Encourage students to write down three statements about themselves, with one of the statements being false.


After giving students five minutes or so to write their sentences down, have them read them out loud one by one — and enjoy the entertainment as fellow students try to guess which of the statements is a lie.

This activity also serves as a simple, early way to get a gauge of the skill levels of your new students : As your new students write out their sentences, you can walk around and see which students need help might need help with written communication.

As they read out their sentences, you can also gauge verbal communication skills.

Be sure to give students an example by sharing your two truths and a lie first. Students always love learning about their new teacher too!

11. Class time capsule

Create individualized time capsules on the first day of school. Fill them with items such as personal letters about what students plan to accomplish throughout the school year.

Letters can include expectations, clubs they would like to join, and desired grade point averages.

You can also take pictures of your students on the first day, print them out, and put them inside the time capsules.

On the last day of school, return each student's time capsule and allow them to see how much they have learned, grown , and achieved throughout the school year .

12. Tall Thomas

Encourage students to think of an adjective to describe themselves. The adjective must suit the student and must also start with the first letter of their name — for example, “Tall Thomas,” “Funny Frankie,” or “Smart Sam.”

A student stands at the front of the classroom with her teacher, talking to her classmates, who are seated.

Encourage students to try and memorize every name to add a skill-testing element to the activity.

Have the class stand in a circle, and then have one student state his or her new nickname. Then, have the next student try to name the previous name before saying their own name.

Make sure to keep the activity lighthearted and fun. Feel free to stand in the circle and join the fun to further engage with your students!

13. Don’t answer

Ask your class to stand in a circle. Have one student engage with another classmate, and pose the other student a question about his or her personality. To clarify, give students a few examples: “What is your silliest habit?” or “What is your pet peeve?”

However, explain that the student who is asked the question may not respond — with the student to their left answering for them. Note that the answer doesn’t have to be right and that each student can make their answers as imaginative or creative as possible .

14. Draw a Self-Portrait

Provide a self-portrait worksheet such as the one below as an easy beginning-of-year activity. When everyone is finished, have each student present their self-portrait to the class as a formal introduction to their colleagues and to yourself!


15. Be unique

Have everyone stand in a circle. Encourage each student, one by one, to say something they believe to be unique about themselves. For example: “My name is Jason, and I have two brothers” or “... and I speak three languages.” If another student also has two brothers or speaks three languages, they must sit down.

The goal is to stand as long as possible and therefore to share very special things about yourself that no one else typifies .


16. Six word story

Get students to explain what they did over the summer using only six words , writing the statement down as a complete sentence on a piece of paper.

Then, have students exchange papers with a classmate, with that colleague also adding a comment comprised of only six words. You may choose to rotate the papers to adjust the length of the story to your preference!

17. The question web

This activity helps students learn interesting facts about one another. Have your students stand in a circle. Next, take a ball of yarn or string and hold on to the end of it while passing the ball to another student.

Young students sit in rows, raising their hands to answer the teacher's question.

Ask this student an interesting question such as “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?”

Once they have answered the question, have them pass the ball of yarn to another student in the circle and ask them a question. When all your students have had their turn, explain that the web they created represents the uniqueness of your classroom — and that their participation makes the classroom a special place for learning and creativity.

First day of school activity ideas for remote learning or social distancing

Create your own virtual background.

If possible, have older students create their own virtual background on whatever video conferencing tool you use. They can even make it themed to a favorite hobby, video game, book, movie, etc.

Create a Google Classroom banner quilt

Have your students collaborate on a blank Google digital classroom quilt square or add their names to a Google Classroom banner template to use in your traditional or online classroom.

Set up a fun Kahoot quiz

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes. Whether you make the quiz about yourself, fun facts about your school or students, or even subject-based questions, your class will have a blast.

Go over online learning best practices

This doesn't scream "fun" but, at the start of a school year, it's always a good reminder to review classroom rules — especially with the challenges that learning online poses.

This could include things like routines and procedures for online learning, how to get the teacher’s attention, turning the camera or microphone on and off, changing video backgrounds, or anything else that's relevant to your specific class.

Final Thoughts: first day of school activities

It’s important to pair fun and kindness with clear and firm expectations — so think of the first day of school as your chance to demonstrate your ability to conduct activities that are both enjoyable and orderly.

See which activities on this list appeal to you most, and try them out yourself as a memorable back to school introduction!

And whether it's with Prodigy Math or any of the other first day of school activities listed above, we encourage you to get involved, too! Play with your students.

It's a perfect way for you to truly learn about your new students and for them to learn about you!

Prodigy Math makes it easy to engage students all year long with fun, adaptive math practice. Get teacher tools for differentiation, assessment and gathering insights when you sign up for your free teacher account today!

activities for new students

Fun and Easy Activities for New Students

Fun Ways to Welcome New Students

Welcoming new students to our schools is one of the things school counselors should do during the first few weeks of school.

Leaving old friends and familiar surroundings can make students feel alone and isolated. Typically, meeting a new friend (or two) and learning the procedures and layout of the building can do wonders to ease anxiety and help their transition.

Meeting with your new students in a small group setting is extremely helpful in getting the biggest bang for your time…in terms of time. -> You can meet with multiple kids at once and they get to meet other kids going through the same situation.

New Student Small Group Session:

Step 1: Obtain your new student list.

Step 2: Determine how many new students you have and consider how much time you have to devote to the groups.

I enjoy having groups of 6 or less, but this is a luxury (especially when running from building to building). Typically, I have 8-10. I have done more than that with 3rd-5th and while it can be done, it severely reduces the ability for the participants to get to know you and one another.

I would much rather have two groups of 7 & 8 than have a group of 15. But like I said if you must…then you must.

Step 3: Work with the teachers to schedule one 30 minute group session that won’t interrupt direct instruction.

Tip on Scheduling:

I send out a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year so the teachers can mark their DO NOT DISTURB (DND) time, with the understanding that I will do my best to avoid this time.

Keeping the teachers’ DND time along with specials, computers, and library times in mind, I find two or three time slots per group and ask the teachers which they prefer…I have also found that scheduling and groups run smoother when groups are organized by grade level.

activities for new students

Group Organizer Download

Step 4: Pick students up at the scheduled group time & rock your group!

Activities for New Student Groups:

Icebreaker: name game.

Play this fun memorization game to encourage interaction,  improve name retention, and (of course) have fun!

Tell the students to do the following:

Start with the student on your left and have them say their first name and the name of the food -> the next student then says the first person’s name and food and then adds their name and food -> the third student starts with the first, then the second, and then adds theirs. Do you see where I am going with this?

Continue all the way around the table. Provide enough wait time for students to answer but feel free to give hints as necessary!

Guess who the lucky duck is that gets to go last? YUP! It’s you!!!!

Kids love this part of the activity and are pretty impressed when you get them all right. I’ve had a few students keep their “food name” as a nickname throughout the year. Hey, kids these days…go figure.

M&M New Student Game

activities for new students

New Student Autograph Book

The last thing I do is give them a New Student Autograph Book and send them on a scavenger hunt of sorts. The autograph book has pages for various roles around the school.

I highly recommend letting the staff in on the fact that your newbies will be asking them for their “autograph.” 🙂

Set a few ground rules with the students:

activities for new students

Download New Student Autograph Book

Closing Activity:

To wrap everything up, I give the students a copy of the School Counselor Introduction Brochure to take home and share with their parents…when my budget or supplies allow, I give my newbies a welcome bag.

New Student Welcome Baggie Contents:

Welcome Letter Counseling Brochure My Business Card School Brochure Fun Pencil & Eraser* Parks & Rec Activity Guide* Local Map* *Your local Chamber of Commerce may donate free maps and other items (pencils, pens, magnets, coupons, etc.)

I would love to hear what you do with your new students in the comments!

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Thanks for sharing all of your ideas! I LOVE the autograph book. I finished my new student groups last week, but will be adding it to my collection for next year! Thanks Heather!

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Thanks Kate!

They really encourage kids to open up and meet the helpful people at school. 🙂

Best wishes, Heather

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17 Fun Interactive Games For Students in 2023

Here is our list of the best interactive games for students.

Interactive games for students are fun activities and games in which students participate in groups. These games also offer a fun and hands-on learning experience. Examples include Charades, Four Corners, and Pictionary. The purpose of these activities is to help students absorb educational material and make them feel comfortable in school.

These ideas are similar to online classroom activities and team building exercises . Two examples of these activities are vocabulary games and communication games .

This list includes:

Here we go!

List of interactive games for students

Interactive games for students are necessary for schools because they provide a new learning experience while giving a break to the students from the mundane school routine. These games also develop skills and competencies in children. To help you engage students in the classroom, here is our list of the best interactive classroom games for students.

Hangman is a fun and interactive game for students, which you can play in the classroom or online. When playing in the classroom, you will need an interactive display or a whiteboard. When playing online, you can use a virtual whiteboard app.

Every student participates and takes turns guessing while the teacher draws on the board.

The rules of the game are simple. The teacher will think of a word and draw blanks according to the number of letters. For example, if the word has six letters, then you draw six blanks. To make the game easy, you can also tell about the category, like if it is the name of a singer, a movie, or a famous place.

The students will think of some letters, and for every wrong letter, the teacher will draw a portion of the hangman. When the drawing is complete, the game is lost. However, if players guess the correct letters, then they save the hangman.

2. 10 Questions

10 Questions is one of the best interactive games for college students because it uses collective critical thinking.

In this game, you will divide the class into two groups. One group will think of an item. Then, the other group will prepare ten questions to ask to guess the object. Since the group has a limited number of questions, they must choose strategically.

You can set a rule that every group member will ask one question. The group can decide on the questions, and their answer will be either yes or no. The groups cannot ask for explanations or details.

After getting all the answers, the other group will think of an object and give their guess. The group will get a point if they make the right guess.

This game highlights the importance of group discussion and indicates how the groups must analyze the information and develop a unified answer.

Check out more question games .

3. 101 And Out

101 And Out is a fun game that will test your students’ math skills. This game is also easy to play, which makes it among the best interactive games for kids.

Here is how to play:

If you are playing this game with children, then you can set easy rules and ask them to add the numbers only and eliminate the multiplying rule.

4. Don’t Answer

Don’t Answer is a fun and engaging game that will check how well your students know each other.

In this game, you will make the class sit in a group. It is better to make good friends sit with each other because it will make the game easier.

Each student will randomly pick another student from the crowd and ask a question.

For instance:

However, this game has a twist. The addressed student cannot directly answer. The asked-about student cannot speak and can tell the other players whether an answer is right or wrong by a thumbs up or thumbs down. If the initial response is wrong, then they can ask follow-up questions to get the correct answer.

Trivia can be a great choice if you are looking for interactive quiz games for students. These challenges can disguise learning as a fun and spirited competition. Facing off in feats of knowledge can bring lessons alive and help students better retain information.

To make this game interactive, you can divide the class into groups. Then, when children discuss the answers in groups and decide mutually, it will strengthen their bond and friendship.

The best idea is to tell the kids about the trivia beforehand. Then, when they give the correct answers after coming fully prepared, it will boost their confidence and morale as well.

Here is a list of starter trivia questions and a guide to team Jeopardy .

6. Simon Says

Simon Says is a fun game that will get groups laughing. The fact that you play it both in-person and online makes it among the best online interactive games for students.

This game also builds a friendly relationship between the teacher and students.

How to play:

To make the game more challenging, rattle off commands quickly. Rapidfire instructions will test and sharpen students’ focus. You will be surprised at how the students will act without listening for the particular phrase.

7. Charades

Charades is an interactive game you can play at any event. In this game, you will divide the class into two groups.

Each group will decide on a word for another group. Then, one member from the other group will come to act that word for their team. However, the member who acts cannot speak the word.

The team members will keep guessing until they reach the correct answer.

You can also set a time limit to make the game enjoyable. You can also make it more fun by asking the students to do activities specific to the classroom. For example, you can ask them to act like their favorite teacher.

8. Blindfold Conversation

Blindfold Conversation is an engaging game that will make your students interact and collaborate during the activity.

In this game, you will make your class stand in a circle. Then, one student will come to the center, and you will blindfold them. Next, a few students will make the blindfolded child spin in a circle. When stopped, he will point to one student. That student will speak in a funny voice, and the blindfolded student will guess their name.

9. Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs is the best game for a large classroom. The more participants you have, the more fun this game will be.

In this game, you will choose one student and make them leave the classroom or blindfold them. Then, you will pick one student to hide. You can hide them under the chair or make them leave the class to be out of sight. Then, all the other students in the class will change their places.

Then, the blindfolded student will enter the class and guess which student is missing.

This game boosts students’ powers of observation, which can come in handy while studying.

10. Pictionary

Pictionary has been the favorite game of children and adults alike. Pictionary can be a great choice if you are looking for some interactive games for high school students.

This game involves drawing a picture on the board without speaking the word. One student will come to the board and draw the image of the word given. Then, the whole class will participate in guessing the picture.

You can also play Pictionary online if you have online classes. The online version offers the same level of fun as the in-person version of this game. You can play online Pictionary on Drawize or conduct a Zoom meeting and use the digital whiteboard.

Learn more about Drawize.

11. Geography Puzzles

Geography puzzles are a great idea to make the geography class fun and engaging for students. Children often get bored in such classes. You can bring a twist with a class activity.

To do a geography puzzle, first, divide the class into groups. Then, you will give blank maps to each group. Finally, ask the class to fill out the maps and write the names of the countries.

You can also make it specific and include the topics in the puzzle taught in the class.

12. Ad Making

Making an advertisement is a unique and creative activity that students will enjoy. As this activity requires critical and creative thinking, it best suits high schoolers and teenagers.

First, give a product to your students. For example, soap, pencil, or notebook. It is better to hand out familiar, everyday objects to make the activity easy.

Then, ask the students to make an advertisement in groups to sell the product. The students can take inspiration from the ads they watch on television. Then, the students will perform in the class, and the team with the most creative idea will win.

13. Minute To Win It

Minute To Win It is a beloved game show. This exercise consists of different activities and games that participants will only have one minute to complete. The player who gets the most points in one minute will win the round. The best part about this game is that multiple players can participate, making it ideal for the classroom.

It is better to have the theme and decor of the original game show to improve the competitive skills of the students. Some examples of activities are:

These activities will make the students focus, and due to the limited time, they will try their best to be as quick as possible. The best part of this activity is that you can play multiple games, as each challenge takes under a minute.

Check out more Minute to Win It games .

14. Invent A Solution

Inventing a solution requires critical thinking, as students will work together in groups to fix a problem.

In this game, you will give an imaginary scenario to your students. For example, an alien spaceship has attacked the world, and the aliens want to invade your hometown. How will you make a deal with them or kick them out?

You can also use examples from everyday life, like giving a scenario of your friend who is in trouble and you have to save them.

Then, the students will get five minutes to discuss the answer in the group. Once done, one student from each group will come on the stage and explain their solution to the class.

Check out more problem-solving activities .

15. GoNoodle

GoNoodle is the favorite online platform of teachers. This website contains many fun games and interactive activities that help students participate and boost their confidence. If you are looking for some online interactive games for students, then GoNoodle can be the right platform.

The website gives you different categories of games to choose from. You can play games according to specific subjects and topics and do activities like stretching in video sessions.

Learn more about GoNoodle.

16. Debate Competition

A debate competition is among the best interactive games for high school students. Such competitions and activities improve students’ critical thinking skills, boost their confidence, and improve their communication skills.

To ensure interaction, you can divide the class into two groups and give an argumentative topic for discussion. One group will focus on the cons, and the other will highlight the pros. For example, you can provide globalization as the topic for discussion and ask the class to have speeches and arguments on it.

17. Four Corners

Four Corners is among the best interactive classroom games. This challenge involves four groups of students. You will also blindfold one student.

The rest of the students will run to four corners of the room. The blindfolded student will point to one corner, and students at the other corners will be out of the game.

Then, the remaining four students will run to the four corners again. Finally, the blindfolded child will again point to one corner, and the student there will win.

This game is easy to play, takes limited time, and only has one winner in each round.

Interactive games for students are necessary to boost their focus on their studies and keep them active in class. These games also build trust and friendly relationships as students play in groups to win.

Our list of interactive games for students includes in-person and virtual games that can keep students engaged and boost their confidence. For best results, match activities to the subject and your class’ age group, learning styles, and personalities.

For more fun with students, check out virtual field trips and family day activities .

FAQ: Interactive games for students

Here are answers to questions about interactive games for students.

What are some interactive games for students?

Here is a list of some interactive games for students:

In these games, students participate in groups or help one student with a problem. Such games also boost the thinking skills and confidence of children.

How do you get students to interact through games?

The best idea to get students to interact through games is by making them participate in groups. The students will use their abilities and work will full confidence. Also, they will be anxious about not letting their teammates down with poor performance, which will help them focus on the game. Also, the students will discuss the solutions before taking action. Discussing in groups and putting forward their points will also help them build trust and eliminate shyness.

Why are interactive games important for students?

Interactive games are important for students to help them learn better and develop or improve their skills. Interactive games also take the students out of the standard classroom routine and provide a new learning path.

Interactive games also build confidence, improve communication, and help students determine what to do in situations using their critical thinking.

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Author: Grace He

Content Expert at teambuilding.com. Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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7 tips for welcoming a new student into an established classroom.

Hero image

We all know the feeling…  It’s been a productive few months. Your classroom has been set up, your students are well and truly settled in and your routines have been well established. Then you get the call from the office, and those magical words are uttered – “ You’re getting a new student. ”

Being the new kid on the block can be an incredibly daunting experience. Students are often completely out of their comfort zone on their first day. Being greeted by a friendly teacher who is in control of the situation goes a long way to helping them feel at ease.

So how do you make sure you can be all that (and more) for your new charge?

Welcoming a new student

7 Tips for Welcoming a New Student

As lovely as it is to welcome a bright new face into your classroom, it can definitely upset the dynamic of your carefully nurtured environment.

Sometimes you may not even find out you’re receiving a fresh student until the day they arrive!

Regardless of whether you’re forewarned or not, your mind is usually whirring with all the things you need to organize to help your new child get sorted.

Put that whirring mind at ease! Read ahead for our 7 tips to help your new student settle in with your class and become a well-established member of the classroom.

#1 Prep Your Class(room)

Preparing your students for a new addition to the classroom is a great place to start!

Make sure your kids are aware that the new student might need a lot of help settling in and have a chat with them about how they can help.

Once your students are ready for their new friend, the classroom needs a few bits and pieces!

Make sure you get your new student a desk and chair as soon as possible. Give them a new desk plate to match the rest (such as one from our blog 15 Inventive Desk Name Plate Ideas ) and they’ll be ready to go!

Don’t forget spare stationery, updating your class displays that have student names, and acquiring a tablet or other technical device , including log-in details.

Image of Tropical Paradise Printable Teacher Planner - Technology Passwords Page (Class)

teaching resource

Tropical paradise printable teacher planner - technology passwords page (class).

A tropical paradise-themed class technology passwords page for you to use in your teacher planner.

Image of Computer Username and Password Login Cards

Computer Username and Password Login Cards

Use these computer login cards as a reminder for each student.

Image of Desk Mats – Upper Grades

Desk Mats – Upper Grades

Letter size desk mats that include 2-D shapes, 3-D figures, the alphabet, times tables and Five Star Writing hints for your students’ desks.

#2 New Student Survival Flip Book

To help your new student survive their first couple of days, we’ve created a New Student Survival Flip Book .

It’s the perfect mix of welcoming and informative, with editable pages for you to tailor to your class.

It contains editable pages for you to add your own information on:

It comes in colored or black and white as a PDF or editable word document!

New Student Survival Flip Book Template

Read more about this welcoming resource in the blog  New Kids on the Block – New Student Survival Flip Book !

#3 Allocate a Buddy

It can be sad to leave your friends behind and start at a new school. Not knowing anyone can make students feel isolated, especially when lunchtime rolls around.

To avoid a lonely lunchbreak, allocate your new student a ready-made buddy!

Welcoming a New Student

Choosing a buddy to show your new student the ropes is a really great move, but make sure you are choosing the right person for the job.

Ask your class to volunteer to be a buddy for the new student and then choose someone who is:

Who knows, you may have just set them up with a lifelong friend! At the very least, you’ll give them the confidence to make friends amongst other members of the classroom at their own pace.

#4 Get to Know You Games

Icebreaker games don’t just have to be for the first week of the school year!  Why not play a few to help your class get to know their new friend?

Cassie’s blog  12 FUN “Getting To Know You” Icebreakers for Kids  has heaps of fun ideas for “Getting to Know You” games. Holly’s blog also has great ideas! Make sure you read Interactive Icebreakers for Kids | Getting To Know You Activities .

Image of Who Am I? Icebreaker Game

Who Am I? Icebreaker Game

Make day 1 a success with this fun icebreaker game.

Image of Icebreaker Game Cards

Icebreaker Game Cards

Help your students get to know each other with this set of 20 icebreaker games.

Image of Would You Rather...? Question Cards

Would You Rather...? Question Cards

Would You Rather use this set of 31 question cards or eat a can of worms?

Perhaps each student would like to take the time to create a scrapbook page where they can tell a little bit about themselves? They can then stand up in front of the class and show off their mini-biography to the rest of the class. Who knows – your established students may learn something new about each other as well!

#5 Monitor Their Progress

Even if you’re given the most comprehensive run-down of all the schoolwork your new cherub has completed to date, it can still be a big change for them to come to a new learning environment. You can never really be 100% sure of their capabilities and understanding until you see it in the flesh!

For this reason, it’s important to make formal and informal observations as they participate in your lessons.

Take note of whether or not they are struggling with the pace, lesson styles, content or difficulty of the lessons. It may be that they need a little extra tutoring or homework to help them catch up. Alternatively, you may need to give them some extension work to keep them challenged!

For formal observations and assessment, using a progress tracker for one student isn’t a bad idea. A new student joining your classroom is the perfect time to put them to use!

Image of Blush Blooms Printable Teacher Planner - Assessment Tracker

Blush Blooms Printable Teacher Planner - Assessment Tracker

A blush blooms-themed printable assessment tracker to use as part of your teacher planner.

Image of Block Beasties - Class List

Block Beasties - Class List

A building block-themed printable class list.

Image of Chalkboard Printable Teacher Planner - Assessment Trackers

Chalkboard Printable Teacher Planner - Assessment Trackers

A set of 4 chalkboard-themed printable assessment trackers to use as part of your teacher planner.

Image of Pineapples - Class List

Pineapples - Class List

A pineapple themed printable class list.

#6 Check in With Them

Once your student has had a week or so to settle into the classroom routine, take them aside for a check-in.

It doesn’t have to be a serious affair! Invite them to join you for lunch, or a cup of tea! If they are shy, then why not invite them to bring along a friend?

Welcoming a New Student - Have a chat

It can be hard for a new student to be honest with the teacher when they are having trouble or not enjoying the classroom, so building a rapport with them throughout their first few days is vital. Make sure they know they can trust you to help them settle in, and encourage them to give bad and good feedback on their learning, their new friends, and their new school.

#7 Meet With Their Parents

The final piece of the new student puzzle is to meet with the new student’s parents.

Once the student has time to adjust (a week or so), ask the parents to come by for a catch-up. No doubt the parents will be eager to hear how their son or daughter has settled in! It’s also a great idea for you to introduce yourself properly, hear about anything the child hasn’t told you and to make sure you and the parents are on the same page. Give them a Parent Handbook Flip Book to make sure they have all the information they need!

Helping a New Student Settle In

Establishing a positive parent-teacher relationship is so important with any of your students! Creating a positive teaching partnership with your new student’s parents will help make sure you are setting them up for success and getting the support from home as well.

We love new students! What’s your top tip for welcoming a new student into your classroom?

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    The “Find a friend” game is a fun activity designed to help students become comfortable with their new classmates. To play, students must first receive worksheets containing a list of topics — such as sports, foods, games, and so on — from which they must pick their favorites. Image source: First Grade Schoolhouse, Teachers Pay Teachers

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