Getting It Started Saturday: 1st Days of School

What better topic this time of year than to talk about the first two days of school for this week's Getting It Started Saturday!

We started school on Thursday this year, so the first two days were full of movement, fun, and getting-to-know each other activities.

With a class of 2/3 boys this year, I wanted the first two days to include a lot of getting up and about! No long seat time, especially with the temps in the 90s!

First up, Deana from Primary Punch's School Sleuth QR Code Scavenger Hunt! I *lovelovelove* this activity, and so did my kiddos!

Click the pic to get this great activity from TpT!
I wish I would have snapped a pic of my kids as we were completing this activity, but we were all having too much fun :) I split this activity in half so we could do it in the morning and then in the late afternoon. I hung the QR Code Posters all over the school and printed the clues on a cheat sheet for me (just in case I goofed with hanging them that morning!).

I brought the clues with me on a clipboard and a class iPad and we were off! It was a great activity because:

  • We could practice hallway behavior- lots of lining up, quiet walking in the halls, all that jazz
  • I could ask for volunteers to read (quick, informal reading check!) and there were *tons* since this was such a fun activity
  • I could explain expectations and review procedures in rooms like the cafeteria, bus lot, computer lab, and more
  • My new kids learned about the entire school in a fun and engaging way that kept them included with our class and not feeling so "new"-ish
I could go on and on, but this was one of my favorite activities these past two days!

After the first half of the school-wide scavenger hunt, we hung out in our classroom for a while completing a FREE A-Z Scavenger Hunt from Kari for items in our room:

Click the pic to be taken to Kari's TpT Store to grab this freebie!
This was a great way for them to get to know the room on their own terms and really look for things closer than my old pre-made list. Plus, their answers and what they found were much more in-depth!

*Teacher Tip* When it came time to share on Day 2, I called out a letter and the kids walked and stood next to the item that they wrote for that letter-- it was great! I didn't call all 26 letters, but I called most and even had kids call out a few-- it was a fantastic way to keep them moving and sharing and checking out all of the different areas in our class.

Last year, we used color Sharpies to decorate our Book Bins and that was definitely an activity worth repeating:

These magazine files from Ikea (Flyt- 5 for $1.99!!) held up all year long, even with extensive abuse from some of my kiddos and they were a fun souvenir to send home with them on the last day of school. Plus, the price is right, so I was a-ok restocking this year and if one ever did rip, it won't be the end of the world ;)

After they finished decorating, they were free to start looking through our class library and filling them up (no more than 3 books at any time), so this was a very laid-back way for me to see what books they naturally gravitated towards and who struggled to find any at all, even with zero parameters... loads of informal data-gathering these first two days :) :)

Next up, some writing, cleverly disguised in a fun packet from Anna at Simply Skilled in Second's Flip-Flap Book for First Day & Last Day:

Click the pic to find this in Anna's TpT Store
I made a packet of the materials for each student so they could keep it as organized as possible. I let them decide if they wanted to write first, then color, or vice versa, or mix it up as they went through-- totally up to them, and then I could wander around and see where they were with simple written responses.

I also made a demo version for them since these are so new and original-- they are always blown away when they see what these look like :) I love Anna's store and all of her Flip-Flap books because of this reason!

Click the pic to get this resource :)
We have Back to School Night with the parents on Tuesday evening, so my plan is to have each child leave their completed Flip-Flap Book at their table spots so parents have something to read, enjoy, and take home with them about their kiddo's first few days.

I hope this gave you some fun ideas to use during your first few days back with kids! I am so thankful for TpT and these great resources that have kept the first two days the most *fun* back-to-school time in my nine years of teaching!

This next week, we will be launching Math Rotations, Writer's Workshop, and Daily 5, and I can't wait to share how they look this year!

Happy Back to School and enjoy your weekend!


  1. I also loved the scavenger hunt! only I used it as a way to introduce the kiddos to parts of their classroom that they may have not seen or been very sure of the use...I gave them the scavenger hunt within the first 20min on the first day... they loved the exploration!

    1. Love it! I think you can never go wrong with a scavenger hunt, especially during the craziness of back to school! Have a great year ahead :)

  2. These sound great! I have a different question for you, though. I'm about to start Daily 5 and math rotations for the first time and have been reading through the books. Any ideas on grades? I'd love to know what you use for grades and how you set that up! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful ideas!

  3. Thanks so much for the shout out!! I am SO glad your kids loved it!! I have them hung up around my school for tomorrow morning!! : )

    Primary Punch