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Fabulous Ideas for the First Day of Class

Onthefirstdayofclass,thehallsbuzzwi
excitement.
Teachersgetreadytogreettheirstudents,

anxioustogetstarted,andouryoung,ornot

young,learnersarenervous,wonderingwha

theirteacherslike.Ofcourse,firstimpression
count,anditsessentialtohaveafirstdayof

classthatwillsetthetoneforwhattherestof
theschoolyearorcoursewillbelike.Anditwillbefun!
Herearesomefabulousideasfortheallimportantfirstdayofclass:
Gettingtoknowyournewstudents

Thefirstdayofclassisagreatopportunitytogettoknowyournewstudentsandfindoutalit
moreaboutthem.
1.ThisIsMe(http://busyteacher.org/2897thisisme.html):

Thisisaverysimpleworksheetforveryyounglearnerswhomaynotbeabletowrite.Theyd
apictureofthemselvesandseveraloftheirfavoritethings.Aftertheyvecompletedtheir
worksheetsaskthemtostandupandshowtheirpicturestotheclass.
Ifpossible,youmayaskthemtodescribeornamesomeofthethingsinEnglish.

2.ThisIsMe(forolderstudents)(http://busyteacher.org/2899thisismeolderstudents.htm
Thisoneissimilartotheaboveworksheetbutforstudentswhoarealreadyabletoreadand

writeinEnglish.Youmayalsoaskthemtosharetheinformationtheyvewrittendownwithth
(/)
class.Thelastpartoftheworksheetisparticularlyusefulforteachers.
Itasksstudentsbasicallyhowmuchtheylikecertainactivitieslikesinging,coloring,playing

WORKSHEETS

ESLARTICLES(/HOWTO/)

SEASONAL (/SEASONALWORKSHEETS/)

MORE

games,etc.anditwillgiveyouanideaastowhattypeoflearnereachmaybe.

OURST

Icebreakers

Neverunderestimatetheimportanceofactivitiestobreaktheiceonthefirstdayofclass(you
havealreadycheckedournewWarmersandIceBreakers
(http://busyteacher.org/teaching_ideas_and_techniques/warmersworksheets/)category,

haventyou?).Nomatterhowoldorhowyoungyourstudentsare,thereisalwaysalittleanxi

abouthavingtospeakalanguagethatisnottheirown.Togettheyearofftoagreatstart,try

eitheroftheseicebreakers,andyou'llseeyourstudentswillbemorerelaxedandlessanxiou
aboutlearningEnglish.
1.Introduceme:
Thisactivityisagreatwaytostartaclassofadultlearnerswhoarenotcompletebeginners.

Splitthemupintopairsandhavethemtaketurnsaskingeachotherquestions.Youshouldha

somepromptswrittendownontheboardoronahandout,andtheyshouldbesuitabletothei
level.Forexample,beginnerintermediatestudentsshouldhavealistofquestions,like:
Wheredoyoulive?
Whatdoyoudo?
Wheredoyouwork?
Etc.
Moreadvancedstudents,maybesimplygivenareastoinvestigate,like:
Education
Family
Work
Leisureactivitiesandhobbies
Etc.

Theyshouldbeencouragedtotakenotes,andtrytorememberasmuchastheycanaboutth
partner.Oncetheyredoneinterviewingeachother,eachstudenthastointroducehisorher
partnerandtelltheclasswhatthey'velearnedaboutthatperson.
Veryyounglearnersorbeginnerscansimplybetaughttoasksimplequestionslike,Whats
yourname?andHowoldareyou?,thenintroducetheirnewfriendtotheclass:Thisis
Sandra.Shes7yearsold.
2.Mygoals:

Unlikemostschoolcourses,learningEnglishasasecondlanguageisquiteoftensomething

ischosenbythestudentsthemselves.Adultstudents,attheveryleast,willbeabletotellyou

whytheyveenrolledinanESLcourse.Butlittleonesmayalsohavegreatreasonstowantto
learnEnglish.So,askeachofthemtosharetheirreasonsforsigningupforthecourse,and
whattheyhopetoaccomplish.Youmayaskthemtowritethisdownonthefirstpageoftheir
notebooks,sotheycanalwayshavethattolookbackto.
Awordbook

Createapersonalizeddictionarythateachstudentwillkeepforthedurationofthecourse.Ha

outafewblanksheetsofpapertoeachofyourstudents,aswellasapieceofposterboardo
thesamesize.Theposterboardwillbethefrontcoveroftheirdictionary,whichtheycan

decorateastheyplease.Theblanksheetsofpaperwillbethepagesoftheirdictionary.They

shouldwritedownnewwordsintheirdictionaries,withashortdefinition,example,ordrawing
LookingtothefutureBuriedTreasure

Heresanothergreatactivityforthefirstdayofschoolthatwillblowyourstudentsawayonth
verylastdayofclass.CreateaTreasureChest.Askyourstudentstodrawpicturesof

themselvesandwritesomethingontheback:adescriptionofthemselves,theirfavoritethings
whattheyhopetolearnanddoinclass,etcMeasureeachoftheirheightswithapieceof

stringoryarnandlabeleachonewithachild'sname.Ifpossible,recordeachofthemspeakin

brieflystatingtheirnamesandalittlesomethingaboutthemselves.Getacardboardboxthat

holdallofthedrawings,piecesofstring,andthecassetteordisc,sealitwithtape,andhidei
somewhereintheclassroom,ortakeithomewithyou.
Onthelastdayofclass,youcanplayaTreasureHunt
(http://busyteacher.org/classroom_activitiesvocabulary/quizzes_and_huntsworksheets/)

game,completewithtreasuremap,orsimplyreopentheboxinagrandceremony.Students

haveablastlookingattheirearlierwork,andtheyllbeamazedtoseehowmuchthey'velear
andgrown.

Youcandosomethingsimilarwithadultlearners.Askthemtowriteaparagraphabout

themselves,withnocorrectionsfromyou,justaspontaneoussampleofwriting.Keepallofyo
studentswritings,andonthelastdayofclassshowthesetothem,sotheycanseehowfar

they'veprogressedintheirwritingskills.Youcanalsorecordthemspeaking.Thisactivityisa

offun,butitalsopresentsverytangibleevidenceofhowfarthey'vecome,somethingthatan
ESLlearnerwillappreciate.
Whateveryoudoonthefirstdayofclass,takethetimetogettoknowyourstudents
andletthemgettoknowyou.
Setforththeclassroomrules(http://busyteacher.org/3040backtoschoolhowtoestablish

classroomrules.html)withthelittleonesdiscussyourstudentsgoalsforthecourse.Butthe

mostimportantthingistolayasolidfoundationforwhatwillbeayearofcooperationand
learning.

Wantmoretipsliketh

(http://store.busyteacher.org/eslbooks/backtoschoolmagic)

Back To School Magic:


Practical, Detailed And
Illuminating Guide
AllthetoolsandtipsyouneedtoorganizeyourbacktoschoolESL
Oneclick!
That'sallittakesforyoutosay'thankyou'forthe
classroomandhelpyourstudentssucceed,withsolutionssoplanned
articlesyoufinduseful!Usethebuttonsaboveto
andpreparedthatotherteachersmightthinkthey'remagic.
showusyourlove,weworkhardtodeserveit!

YES,showmesamplepages
(http://store.busyteacher.org/eslbooks/back
toschoolmagic)
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