Students in first grade are just beginning their educational journey. Students may have attended kindergarten, but no matter what, most students will find first grade to be very different from any other schooling they have had. It's a time for new friends, homework assignments, and maybe even a test or two. Some students may be extremely nervous for their first day, but teachers can provide unforgettable icebreaker activities that will help students stay excited for school.
The First Grade Rumba
Young students love music and will be sure to remember the "First Grade Rumba" for years to come. The first grade rumba, from Education World (see Resources), is a fun song that is designed to introduce each student one at a time, while getting all students active by dancing and moving. By the time the first grade students are done singing the "First Grade Rumba," they will have forgotten their nerves and gotten to know their teacher and schoolmates.
Silly Name Game
The silly name game is a fun way to help students develop their memories while learning the names of their new friends on the first day of school. Each student chooses a word that starts with the same letter as his first name. For example, Joseph could be Jumping Joseph. Then students take turns saying their name and word out loud for the rest of the class to hear. The students will be laughing and giggling at everyone's silly names in no time.
First Day of School Show-and-Tell
A couple of weeks before class begins, the first grade teacher who wants to participate in the First Day of School Show-and-Tell sends a letter home to parents asking them to have their children bring one or two of their favorite items with them to school on the first day to show to the rest of the class. This activity is helpful for nervous students who are new to school, since they will feel more comfortable with their favorite teddy bear or family photo on the first day of class.
During the Introduce Another activity, teachers divide the first grade students into pairs. Give the students a couple of questions to talk about with one another, such as questions about their name, their age, and their family members. Allow students time to talk and get to know each other. After 10 minutes, have each student introduce his partner to the rest of the class. This activity is effective because now every student in the class has a new friend to spend the day with.