Out of This World Literacy : 5 'Must Do' Back to School Activities
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5 'Must Do' Back to School Activities

Hello again teacher friends!  

I am so excited to share in the always amazing Bright Ideas Blog Hop!!

This month I am going to share with you 5 'Must Do' Activities for the first week back to school.  

I started Homeschooling my 3 kids!  They are in 10th, 7th, and 5th grade. 

My son wasn't too excited about his mini desk!  We are working on an upgrade :)

Here are the 'Must Do' Activities we did on the first day of school:

#1: Creating a class set of Norms

We brainstormed together what we wanted our set of norms to be.  We kept it short and sweet so we don't have an overwhelming number of things to remember.  Here is our list:

The kids copied the norms into their daily notebooks so that they had the chart with them at the front of their notebooks all throughout the year.

Their homework for the night was to work together to create a nice poster we could hang in our classroom as an anchor chart.  

They could use whatever resources they found.  But the key was they needed to work together.  

You could have small groups of students work together to create several posters that could be hung up all over the room as reminders.  Eventually you could just leave one up for the year!

#2: Decide What You Need from Each Other to Learn Best

Be honest and open with your class as you have them share what they need from their classmates and you in order to have a successful year.  Get every student involved by asking them to turn and talk with a partner to brainstorm ideas.  Give them some time to share and then ask the class to share what they discussed with their partners.  This is a great way to have the class see clearly what they need from each other to be successful this year!  Have students copy your chart into their notebooks so that they have it for the entire year!

#3: Create a Classroom of Kind Words and Respect for All

I found this idea on pinterest and loved it!  What a great way to visualize how our words can impact our hearts!  We may revisit these hearts if our words start to become hurtful to others.  One idea is to ask students to try and tear the glued hearts out of their notebooks.  They will likely end up in pieces.  Then ask the class to put the hearts back together so that they look exactly as they did before.  Of course, this is impossible as there will be tears in the hearts.  Tell students that our words can tear others apart and it is very difficult to put them back together in the same way.  It's a powerful message to respect others and think before we talk!!

#4: Begin a Class List of Books You've Read Together

I have been keeping track of all the books our class has read together over the years.  We are constantly referencing books we have read all year long.  It's really fun to see this list grow and to see how much kids remember books for months to come.  So many times we have talked about books we read  in August when it is April!  The list makes it so easy to remember all we have read.  

#5: Set up Your Reading and Writing Workshop Notebooks

These are the tabs we chose for our readers and writers notebooks this year.

I gave the kids sticky tabs and had them mark each section.  Labeling sections in our notebooks keeps all our thinking organized and makes it super easy to find our work from weeks and months past.

If you enjoyed this bright idea please consider joining me on Pinterest or at my TpT Store.

I hope you are able to use some or all of these ideas in your first few days of school!  I wish you all the very best year ever!!!!!!

For more bright ideas from over 100 different incredible teacher bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!

Best wishes,
Jen Bengel


  1. This will come in such handy Jen, thank you so much! I love doing the wrinkled heart activity, and will definitely use your other tips too :) Thanks!

    Laura Love to Teach

  2. Great advice! Establishing routines and class norms are highly important. I like how you let your kids make the chart too. It helps them take ownership of their learning.