Key Takeaways

  • It’s normal for students and teachers to be nervous about returning to school after summer vacation.
  • By engaging your students with fun icebreakers during the first few days of school, you can create a sense of community within your classroom.
  • It doesn’t take long for students to forge relationships with one another.
  • It’s the beginning of the school year and everyone, from the youngest of students to the most veteran of teachers, is a little bit nervous about the start of the school year. But that first week of school is the perfect time to engage your students with fun icebreakers and getting-to-know-you activities to bring everyone closer together and instill a strong sense of community within your classroom.

    One way to help young learners shape their classroom into a safe, learning-friendly space for all is to take a multi-day approach to relationship building. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a strong classroom community. If you invest the time now during the back-to-school season, the dividends will pay off steadily as you progress through the school year.

    Check out this icebreaker from Scholastic’s Best-Ever Back-to-School Activities. Completed over five days, it will help students develop early social skills and break the ice for a stronger sense of community within your classroom.

    This fun activity encourages teachers and students to share information about themselves, and place the information in an envelope with their name on it. All you need are envelopes, pushpins, and paper to get started.

    Day 1
    On the bulletin board, attach an envelope for each student with his or her name on it. Inside the envelope, leave a short note about yourself. For example, you might write: Dear ________, I like to make my own kites and fly them. What things do you like to do? Your teacher, ________.

    Day 2
    Have children write notes in response. The notes should be placed in the students’ envelopes.

    Day 3
    Write a second note to each student, telling about an upcoming class activity. For example, you might write: Dear ________, This week we will be making leaf rubbings as a science project. What else would you like to do in class this year? Your teacher, ________.

    Day 4
    Have children respond to the notes, and leave the responses in their envelopes.

    Day 5
    Read aloud some of the letters you receive. Discuss your students’ hobbies or the activities they would like to do as a class.

    This activity is just one of thousands of resources available when you subscribe to Scholastic Teachables. With printables, lessons, mini-books, and more for every grade, subject, and skill level, Scholastic Teachables is not only a great resource for instilling a strong sense of community within the classroom, it’s also a wonderful tool to help sustain it.

    For more strategies on building community within your classroom and other tips for back-to-school and beyond, sign up today for a 30-day free trial of Scholastic Teachables.