School activities The start of the year is a good time to set up a "time capsule": it doesn't matter what container, what content or how you hide it
The start of the year is a good time to set up a “time capsule”: it doesn’t matter what container, what content or how you hide it throughout the year. The interest will lie in the reactions of your students when you open the capsule again. At the end of the year to take stock and see how they have evolved. It can be a photo of them to see how much they have grown and changed. Children can write how they see their school year and challenge themselves, or say how they feel at the start of the year (It can be done by recording an audio testimonial), they can bring back an object they like (but which they can do without!)
Decorate the school, the classroom, the notebooks
Door decorations (cycles 1, 2, and 3)
It is a trend coming from Anglo-Saxon countries, which consists of dressing the outside of the classroom door according to the time of year: back to school, Halloween, Christmas, winter, spring, holidays, etc. … it can also be depending on the themes discussed in class: the Middle Ages, Harry Potter, water. On her Pinterest, the blogger Cénicienta has created a table with a few nuggets. And you will find on his blog all the material ready to print for his favorite door decorations. A great idea to brighten up the school hallways 🙂
Personalize your notebooks (cycles 1, 2, and 3)
Very common in cycle 1, this idea can also be applied in cycles 2 and 3, for the art notebook for example. You will find plenty of ideas on Pinterest to personalize notebooks, including this very well-supplied table.
Craft an item (cycles 2 and 3)
Some colleagues also offer their students to make an object that they can take home and keep. As a souvenir of their return to the school day. On the blog La Classe de Crapi. There is a small selection of activities that are how to draw for kids.
Orphéécole offers us a tutorial to have students make an origami “Croque-livre” bookmark.
Create a collective poster (cycle 3)
Here is an easy and fast activity with amazing results.
Distribute a post-it to each student. Ask them to write their first name in an original way (a practice in the rough draft can be useful) and occupying as much space as possible on the small paper.
Ask the students to come and stick their post-it notes on a poster you have prepared (large enough to accommodate all the post-it notes). A centered title such as “CE2-CM1 students from Marceau school” may have already been written or be added.
The post-its aligned in a grid are the most beautiful effect. Loose, the style is also nice. Yellow post-it notes look good; those of several colors too!
The challenges of the start of the school year (cycles 2 and 3)
On the blog But what does the teacher do? You will find a kit to print with the 8 challenges for the start of the school year (available for CE1-CE2 and CM1-CM2) allowing you to gently reintroduce group work. Nice activity and very easy to set up. It will also allow you to observe your students in action.
The Tablettes et Pirouettes blog also offers a very motivating cooperative back-to-school challenge.
A back-to-school reading rally (cycles 2 and 3)
This first week is conducive to launching a reading rally to motivate students. Several blogs offer reading rallies on the theme of back to school. This is the case with La classe de Sanléane (CE1), Bout de Gomme (CE1-CE2) and Récréatisse (CE1). You can also create your back-to-school reading rally on the excellent rallye-lecture.fr site.
A back-to-school escape game (cycle 3)
If you are motivated and you have a cycle 3 class, you can organize an escape game. The Stylo Plume blog has one on the subject of detectives. In Mallory’s Class, here’s one on the Harry Potter theme.
A practice from Anglo-Saxon countries: the “ice breakers”
Literally, “ice breakers” allow you to break the ice. This practice, very common in Anglo-Saxon countries, is beginning to arrive in France. We can take inspiration from it to cheer up the students.
In English please (cycles 3 and 4)
Ice breakers are a good way to gently reintroduce notions of English: to introduce yourself, to describe yourself, to express your tastes, your emotions, etc. (My game with the pairs that must meet.). You will find some implementation ideas on the Beneylu pssst blog.
Icebreaker roulette (cycle 2)
If you are not comfortable with English or your students are still too young. On the Red Pen and Gray Pencil blog, you will find an icebreaker roulette in French.
Back to school lends itself well to outdoor activities. The weather is often good, the yard is rarely used by colleagues.
Some teachers start their school year with a playground game. Not necessarily with running, because some people have poorly adapted sandals. The idea is to get to know each other better, and a first name game is one way to achieve this.
A ball passing game (cycle 2)
The pupils are in rounds of 8/12 pupils according to the number and their age. You have taken the care of preparing a necklace with a large cardboard name tag (reusable on other occasions, with stakeholders in particular). The student throwing the ball should say the name of the child to whom he is throwing the ball. Choose balloons that are big and easy to catch.
Dauphin-Dauphine (cycle 3)
Students are in groups of 5/8 students depending on the size. You can have prepared a name necklace as in cycle 2. A light balloon is required.
The students introduce themselves first. Then in each team that you have formed, designate a child who will have the ball first.
This player has to throw the ball high in the air and call out to one of the children very loudly. Meanwhile, the other children walk away, and the called player tries to catch the ball before it hits the ground. If he succeeds, he must in turn throw it by calling another player.
The child with the ball must first name the player he is going to target. He has the right to take three steps to hit him with his throw. An affected child is eliminated; a failed pitcher is eliminated.
And so on until there is only one child left in play: the dolphin or the dauphine.
Olympics (cycles 2 and 3)
More ambitious, we can also organize, with colleagues from other classes, sports Olympiads. It can be a good way to playfully help students reconnect after the summer. There is no shortage of ideas for activities in this area. You can of course organize classic events (race, jump, throw, relay, etc.) but also draw on the animation side for more fun ideas (sack racing, tug of war, water balloon if the weather is good.
Back to music
For a few years now, the National Education has encouraged schools to return to music. Here are some interesting ideas:
- The sequences offered by the EMC Partageons association for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 school year (published on August 26) allow singing to be combined with moral and civic education.
- On his blog, La Classe de M @ glory offers us a great idea for a musical world tour for the first day.
- If you prefer, here is a sequence to make his return to music on the theme of Harry Potter.