My Top Picks for Back to School Games

 
The count down is on.  The calendar turns to August this week and the panic settles in.  Teachers all across the country to prepare for those first fast-pace, high-energy days of school.  Today I want to share with you my top 5 picks for back to school games!  {FREEBIES ALERT!}

One of the first things I did with my students in that first week of school was to familiarize them the ins and outs of the classroom.  Where are the art supplies?  What parts of the room are off-limits?   I'm pretty sure my first year of teaching I walked around the classroom and yammered off about every drawer, closet, and shelf as my students sat at their desk and listened.  Boring.  I didn't know any better.  The next year I decided to make it more fun with a classroom scavenger hunt!  I let the students explore the classroom in teams reading clues about where things were kept in the room.  Wanna give it a shot this year?  Snag my freebie template here.  Just click and print!
 Editable version available to make cards custom for your classroom!



Here's another small group activity:  "Get-to-Know-You Jenga"  Rachel Lynette has this freebie printable available at her TpT for you to create your own Jenga game.
All you need to do is print out the strips and tape to Jenga blocks.  Students pull out a block and answer the question for their group members.  This game would work great as a center during that first week of school.
I wrote about this fun get-up-and-move game in a guest post over on One Stop Teacher Shop (where you can snag a free template for this game as well!).  I'm sure you've played "Four Corners" before as an easy indoor recess game, but I bet you haven't thought to use it as a "getting to know you" game.

To make it an ice breaker game, you can simply type in questions like:  "What is your favorite ice cream flavor?" and on the multiple choice slide type in the different flavor choices.  Students have 20 seconds to race to the corner that matches their answer.  You can snag this freebie template (and check out my whole guest post on active review games) on One Stop Teacher Shop.

At the start of the school year, you never know how well the kids know each other from previous years.  You might have students that have been together since kindergarten or you might have a student that is brand new to the school.  This game (well, I should say it's the game before the game) will help your students find a partner quickly, even if they don't know a single person in your class.
Print out the freebie cards (one set shown above)  Cut out along the zig-zag line of each card:

Use these cards all year long anytime you want your students to find a partner fast!  You can snag this freebie here.


And finally, a game that requires the least amount of prep!  Simply come up with some this/that type questions for a fun game of "Switch Sides If..."  Have students stand on one side of the room.  Make statements such as "Switch sides if you prefer basketball over soccer."  If a student agrees with the statement, he/she switches sides.  It's that simple!
Head over to this blog post for a ready-made list of "Switch Sides If..." statements that you can use! Even easier!

Have a great day!

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