Start of School Year Ideas

The onset of a new school year provides each of us (educators and learners) with a clean slate and fresh start for learning and growth. I especially love the beginning of a year for it is a change to put into practice ideas which I have thought about for the past ten weeks since the previous year’s teachers duties ended.

Here are a list of ideas and resources I have compiled related to the start of the school year. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but hopefully you will find something useful for your own classroom leadership as you ponder the beginning of a new year.

  • Claudia Staude challenges us to ask students about a big question they would like to answer during the coming year. This is certainly an opportunity to provide our learners with learning that connects with their interests and passions.
  • Similarly, George Couros proposes Five Questions that we might wish to ask our students at the start of the year. These questions can help build a more student-centric classroom.
  • Try Twitter hashtags searches of #firstdayofschool and #firstweekofschool. Numerous ideas emerge alongside images of families and students embracing the first day of a new year. For instance, when researching for this article I came across this post that highlighted beginning of the year books for kindergarten students.
  • What is one new website/service/tool/resources that you might like to apply to the learning process as you start school? One of which I just became aware is Goosechase. From this site one may build scavenger hunt activities, using technology and tying them to academic goals. I am experimenting by creating a Bible literacy scavenger hunt for my Theology classes. If I end up at least slightly please with the results I will share the activity link at a later point. (If anyone has used this resource and has a sense of the site’s value, I’d love to have a conversation with you.)
  • While this Edutopia post is a few years old, it highlights the timeless importance of the first day of school, providing many practical suggestions for getting the year of learning off to the best start possible.

What resources have you found that help with planning the first day of school? Feel free to share them as a comment to this post. Let’s learn together!

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