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10 First Week of Class Activities

Are your plans underway for the upcoming school year? The first week of school provides a prime opportunity to set the tone for a year of successful learning. Making the first week engaging, fun, and educational is key to sparking students’ curiosity and motivation. There are lots of first week of class activities to choose from, and I have a few to share with you.

In this blog post, you’ll find ten engaging, first week of class activities that combine education, technology, and plenty of fun to kick off your school year. From digital scavenger hunts to virtual field trips, these activities are sure to create an interactive and memorable first week.

10 First Week of Class Activities

This list includes a handful of first week of class activities. You can tailor these to a variety of groups and use them in different subject area classrooms, too. It’s an excellent opportunity to introduce a routine or EdTech tool you will revisit throughout the school year.

Infographic presenting ten unique first week of class activities, designed to foster student engagement and set a collaborative tone for the new academic term.

Digital Scavenger Hunt

Use a series of QR codes to set up a scavenger hunt for students. This could include questions where students find items or complete tasks around the classroom or school. A Digital Scavenger Hunt can help students familiarize themselves with their surroundings and work with a new group of classmates.

Introduction Videos

Have students use a tool like MS Flip or Adobe Express to create short introduction videos. In these videos, They can share their favorite summer activities, hobbies, and what they look forward to learning this year. This not only helps students get to know each other but also helps the teacher learn more about each student.

Collaborative Class Expectations

Use a tool like Padlet to collaboratively create class expectations. Each student can contribute an expectation they think is important. This activity helps students feel more invested in the class and teaches them about online collaboration at the same time. You might ask students to turn and talk with a partner before having them jump into this digital space.

Digital Time Capsule

Using Google Slides (or another favorite slide-based tool), have students create a digital time capsule of their first week of school. They can include pictures, drawings, and text to describe their experiences and feelings. This is a great way to introduce a creative tool you will use throughout the school year. Then, during the last weeks of school, they can look back and see how much they’ve grown and changed.

Virtual Field Trip

Regular readers of the blog know that I’m a big fan of field trips. Here is one list of favorites I shared earlier this year. Whether you use virtual field trips frequently or just every once in a while, you can introduce a virtual field trip as one of your first week of class activities. Use a platform like Google Arts & Culture to explore different parts of the world without leaving your classroom. This first week of class activity can help introduce students to places you’ll explore later on in the school year.

Storytelling with Coding

Will you explore computer science skills this school year? Introduce students to basic coding with Scratch, a free programming language designed for kids. Your students can create interactive stories, animations, and games. It’s a unique and engaging way to foster creativity and critical thinking skills. Learn more about coding in this conversation with Laurie Guyon on my Easy EdTech Podcast.

Classroom Blog Setup

Do you plan on blogging with students this school year? One of your first week of class activities might include setting up a classroom blog. This is a space where students can share their thoughts and experiences throughout the school year. It’s a great way to encourage writing and digital citizenship, and there are lots of choices for building a website. You might explore Google Sites, Adobe Express, or Canva.

Collaborative Word Clouds

If you’ve joined me for a workshop or webinar this year, you know that I love word clouds. Use a tool like Mentimeter to create word clouds together. You might ask questions where students share a word related to their expectations or goals for the year. These types of first week of class activities create a visual representation of what students are thinking and feeling at a moment in time.

Interactive Timeline

Use an interactive timeline creation tool to create a timeline of the upcoming school year. This activity can give you a chance to highlight key dates and events. An interactive timeline helps students know what to expect and builds anticipation for special events for the school year. There are a handful of timeline tools, including the ones on this list.

Creativity Challenge

At the start of the last school year, I shared a creativity challenge from Adobe Education. You might take a spin on this challenge and have students introduce themselves by creating graphics that use these templates. There are lots of templates inside Adobe Express you can remix with students as part of your first week of class activities.

First Weeks of School with Adobe Express

The main goal of this first week of class activities is to create an atmosphere of excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm for the year ahead. With these ten tech-integrated activities, not only will you break the ice among students, but you’ll also introduce them to the EdTech tools they’ll use throughout the year. So, whether you’re helping students set up a classroom blog or introducing a creativity challenge, these activities will ensure you kick off the school year on a high note. 

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Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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