Back to School Ideas from a Traveling Teacher

As you’ve been prepping for back to school, I’ve tried to encourage some conversation on the blog about how you start off the new year. After posting Do You Prefer – Back to School Ice Breakers and Travel Classroom Decor, I received some nice feedback from a couple of our traveling teachers.

The below first day of school activities are shared by teacher traveler and Spanish teacher Fran from California.

Our first day back for students is generally a half-day and we strive to not inundate the students with a syllabus from every class. I always start the day off with “Bienvenido a la clase de español” and an interactive type of ice-breaker.

One example is a Bingo type sheet where the students must find someone that fits each square: ie traveled to another state, saw their grandparents over the summer, traveled abroad, got their driver’s license, moved to a new house, bought new shoes/clothes for school, played a sport over the summer, took an on-line class over the summer, went camping, went to the beach, went to (a major attraction in our area), etc. A specific amount of time is given and the student who finds the most then shares – and wins a prize!

Another activity is a “quiz” that the students take to show what they already know or think they know about Señora DeHope and the class. For example whether or not I have been a class advisor, how many years I have taught Spanish, where I learned Spanish, a few semi personal questions – how many children I have, did any of my children go to our school, what sports I played in high school, where I grew up, what’s my favorite team, etc. This is usually a “team quiz” and is timed again.

Another favorite is a “think, pair, share” timed activity where students are given a few minutes to come up with as many words in Spanish in specific categories such as verbs, sports, colors, body parts, professions, fruits, etc. depending on their level. Once they have their list, they get together with a partner to compare and combine lists and then lists are shared with the class and the winning team gets a prize.

This is just a small sample but they always have good results and get the students talking.

Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.