These Back To School Games
Will Pay Big Dividends!!

Playing some back to school games is a fantastic way to get to know your students at the beginning of the school year.

These games can be a very enjoyable, unstressful way of introducing teacher to students, students to teacher, and new students to each other.

It was vital that I learned all my students' names (at least their first names) and a little bit about them the first day or two of school.

Here are a couple of back to school games that I used at the beginning of the year that can help you learn your students' names, hobbies, likes and dislikes and much more.

1. Name That Student

The first of the fun back to school games that I played on the first morning of school, I called "Name That Student".

By the first day of school I already had various classroom layout ideas in mind but on the first morning I asked my students to temporarily find their own desk and chair. My classroom layout ideas would be finalized by the end of the week.

If you recall from my page on classroom seating arrangements, I always had my students sit in groups.

While sitting in my comfy chair in front of the class, I could quickly spot those students who pay attention and catch on fast and those who are not focusing.

I started this activity by choosing one student from one group. He/she would say their first name. The next student would then say his/her name plus the first student's name. The 3rd student would continue by saying his/her name and repeating the other two names. This would continue until all students in the group had said their names.

I would then choose another group and begin again (and this is where the fun begins). In addition to saying students' names from their own group they would also repeat the names from the previous group. This would continue until all groups were done, and then it was my turn.

When I did it, I started from anywhere in the room and named students from different groups. It was more of a challenge than showing off. Students were pretty impressed (me too, if I got them all right). And so it began .... beautiful teacher student relationships (fingers crossed).

2. My Favourite

The second of the fun back to school games that we all enjoyed is fabulous for student motivation in the classroom and a great way to get to know your students' personalities. I played this game the first or second day of school.

"My Favourite" was played in the latter part of the day at the back of my class where I always had a carpeted area. My students sat in a large circle on the carpet, with me sitting on a chair (better to see and be seen).

The premise of the game was for teacher and students to learn everyone's first name and get to know some things about about one another (teacher included). This is not only a great way to get to know your students but also a great way to begin to develop strong student teacher relationships!

Now here's how to play.

* To play the game you need a soccer or similar type of large ball.

* Everyone sat in a large circle.

* I would start with the ball and think of a favourite thing, for example "food".

* I would say "My name is Mrs Krumholz and my favourite food is ice cream".

* I would roll the ball to any student. The student (must be sitting down) getting the ball would say his/her name and his/her favourite food and roll the ball to another student.

* Get the idea? Any student getting the ball would have to roll it on to someone who hadn't received the ball yet. Eventually everyone had a turn.

The last person having a turn in a round, would start a new round and could choose a new "my favourite" topic.

Some other favourite topics might be; TV shows, colors, animals,musical groups or singers, movies,subject - the list is endless.

"My Favourite" is a win-win for all concerned. Not only does it help get to know each other a little better, it helps students develop new friendships and it helps to develop my students' verbal communication and social skills.

Getting to know your students and them you in with these fun back to school games is a great start to a new year and great for student motivation in the classroom. Isn't that what it's all about?

Once you and your students start to get to know each other, here's another game that I call "3 Amazing Comments" that will help you bond with your students by getting to know your students even better.

You can learn to understand your students by becoming familiar with these different learning/personality types . Be sure to check out this page.

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