First Day Tried and True Linky Party | Mentoring in the Middle

First Day Tried and True Linky Party

I'm linking up with Chrissie from Undercover Classroom and Sarah from Education Electrification to look at Tried and True activities I use on the first day of school.  Which is right around the corner!

After being away from school for the summer, I like to mix it up a bit with my students and have them move around the room a fair amount.  There are lots of ways to do that.  One of them is a "Get to Know Me" Bingo game that's FREE in my TpT store.

 An activity I have used the last couple of years is this Create Your Personal Logo Windsock, a great, visual way to get to know kids.  It involves some talk, some thought, some coloring, presenting, and then at Open House, some guessing.  Fun all around!

It starts with a pretty cool discussion about logos like these.  This is a great way to listen to your kids and learn a little about the dynamics of your class.
We look at the simplicity and the "personality" of logos and discuss why students think the companies chose their designs.  (Hint: Are you aware of the arrow in the FedEx logo?  It's between the "E" and the "x."  See it?)

Students complete a brief survey about their interests and goals and then they create their own logo which they present to the rest of the class.  Add some crepe paper to the bottom, roll it up, hang it from the ceiling.  Then, at Open House a few weeks later, I have parents try to guess which one belongs to their child.

A bunch of other ideas....somewhere in the afternoon or the next day we play: the Hula Hoop Game, we have a Snowball Fight with "Two Truths and a Lie" or play the Name Game.

****Hula Hoop Game - everyone gets in a circle, holding hands.  One person has a hula hoop on their shoulder.  Working together, each person takes a turn stepping through the hula hoop so that the hoop is passed around the circle until it get back to the first person again.

****Snowball fight - every student takes a piece of paper and writes two facts about themselves that are true and one that is not.  They make no other marks on the paper and don't show which is the lie. Then students wad up their paper, walk around the room and have a "snowball fight."  When I give the signal to stop, they take the nearest snowball, return to their seats, flatten it out, and we play the game "Two Truths and a Lie." The idea is that they read the statements and the other students have to guess who the person might be.  When the person is guessed, then he or she gets to read their paper.

****Name Game - this is just a ball toss game with all students in a circle.  Have them put their right hand up at waist level.  One student throws the ball to a random student who has a hand up, but before the ball is thrown, he/she has to name that person. I don't give any other directions.  Then, when all students have had a chance to catch the ball and the ball is back with the first person, I tell them they have to do it again.  In the same order.  The third time we do it, I add another ball after the five or so tosses, then another one again.  Kids love this!  And it's a way to connect with each other on a fun level.

By the end of the day, the kids are excited about school, and I'm read for a snooze!
What activities do you on the first day?
P.S.  Are you a middle or high school English teacher? Read this blog later today for a great Back to School give-away sponsored by more than 100 teachers!


  1. Great Ideas here Marion! I pinned your logo windsock idea! Sooooo creative! Thank you for sharing!

    The Whimsical Teacher

  2. Snowball fights are the best!! Great movement activity. I never thought of integrating it with "Two Truths and a lie" Fabulous idea!
    Tricia from "Tricia's Terrific Teaching Trinkets"

  3. I really like your logo windsocks! I can imagine my kids having a blast with that activity and they would look great for back to school night! Thanks for linking up!
    Undercover Classroom

  4. As a Harry Potter fan, I loved that you mentioned Harry Potter in your "Get to Know Me" bingo. Thanks for the great ideas!

    Education Electrification