The beginning of the school year in fifth grade is a time to allow students to get to know each other, the teachers and how the classroom will operate. Create interactive icebreaker activities and activities that will introduce classroom rules and regulations. Beginning-of-the-year activities also help teachers discover student preferences, which teachers can then incorporate into subject lessons.
Student Name Crossword
Use large graph paper or a piece of white mural paper for students to connect their names in a crossword puzzle. Start in alphabetical order and allow each student to use one letter in his name to coincide with one letter in the student's name prior to him. For an extended activity, gather information about each student to use as clues and arrange a blank crossword puzzle with all students' names in a word bank. Copy the name crossword for each student and challenge the students' knowledge about their classmates.
All About Me Collage
Encourage each student to leaf through old magazines and store catalogs to find items coinciding with his tastes, preferences, activities and hobbies. If the student is unable to find adequate pictures, allow him to draw the items. The students will form all of their pictures on a piece of white construction paper and place their name on the reverse side of the paper, making it invisible to other students. Attach a number to the bottom of each piece of art and have students guess which number goes with which student. The student with the most correct matches will receive a prize or certificate.
First Day Exam
Create a multiple-choice exam for the 5th grade students at the beginning of the year that comprises questions about the teacher. Examples of questions may include what year the teacher was born, where he lives, what his hobbies are, what kind of pets he owns and if he has any children. The students will guess to the best of their ability and hand the exam in to the teacher. The student with the most correct answers will receive a treat or a free homework pass.
In groups of three or four, encourage students to devise a class constitution. The document will include how the students will work together and the laws of the classroom. Each group will present the constitution to the rest of the class and all classmates will vote, via secret ballot, on the amendments to be included in the whole class constitution. When completed, each student will sign the bottom of the document and promise to follow the regulations just as the forefathers included their signatures on our United States constitution.