The beginning of a new school year means a new class full of unfamiliar faces. The early days of a school year provide opportunities for you to share information about yourself and learn about your students. As you decide how to introduce yourself to your new class, why not think outside the box?
Check out these creative ways to confidently introduce yourself to your class:
1: Mystery Bags
On the first day, introduce yourself with a mystery bag. Bring in a small bag filled with items that represent you and your interests. Have students guess what’s inside before revealing each item and telling them what it means to you. Then, send your students home with bags of their own (brown bags from the dollar store work great!) and instructions to fill them with their own items from home. Over the next few days, choose a few bags each day to share and guess the contents. Students can brush up on their inferring skills (“Could this be a girl’s bag?” “Is this from someone who likes the beach?”) while guessing whose bag it is. Once the bag owner is guessed, she can stand up and introduce herself to the class.
2: Truth or Lie
Take a cue from this fun idea. Write down 10 statements about yourself—five true and five false. Aim for a mix of creative, funny, unique, and impressive statements. Share the list with your class, pretending all are true. Then, tell your class that half the list is false. Have the students write down which ones they think are true and which are false. Once the students have determined what’s true about you, reverse the game and have your students write two true statements about themselves and one lie on an index card. Collect the cards and try to determine what’s true or false about your students. You’ll all learn something about each other!
3: Read, Run, and Write
Get your students working collaboratively and focusing on their writing skills right away with this activity. Write a list of facts about yourself—your background, family, hobbies, etc.—and post several copies of the list in the front of the room. Divide your class into small teams and give each team a sheet of paper. One student in each group will stay at his desk while the others take turns running up to the board, reading and memorizing as much as they can before running back to the student at the desk who will listen and write down what he’s told. The first group to correctly write down the full list wins.
4: Toss ’n’ Talk Ball
Purchase an inexpensive ball such as a beach ball and write a variety of categories on it in permanent marker—think things like “favorite movie,” “favorite food,” “favorite color,” and so on. Take your class outside and toss the ball around in a circle. Whoever catches it has to reveal his answer to the category his thumb is touching before tossing the ball to someone else.
5: Figure Me Out
Use this suggestion to help students review math facts while they get to know you! Create a board with information about you—suggestions include your age, your birthday, the number of people in your household, and so on. Write the topic and answer on the board. Then, create a simple math problem for students to solve to determine the answer. For example, if your age is 28, write “My Age” and 28 on the board. Cover the number 28 with a sticky note and a math equation equal to 28 such as 7 x 4. Challenge students to solve the problems and peek under the sticky note to check their answer.
6: Send a Postcard
If you want to introduce yourself to your new class over the summer break, go beyond a traditional welcome letter. Send a fun postcard from your favorite vacation spot, or if you’re staying home all summer, pick one from your hometown. You can also make your own by taking a photo of yourself, your pets, or anything that says “you.” Write a few sentences on the back about how excited you are to meet your future class and drop the cards in the mail, addressed to your students. Your kids will love getting their own mail and it will help build excitement for the first day of school.
7: This or That
It takes a little creativity to set up this activity, but once you’ve made it, you can use it over and over again. You’ll need Popsicle sticks and a ball of yarn. On the sticks, write a word at each end for the students to choose between. Some ideas include “chocolate” or “vanilla,” “cats” or “dogs,” “Instagram” or “Snapchat,” and so on. Have your class sit in a circle. Tie the end of the yarn to your wrist and choose a stick. Reveal the answer you’d choose and ask the students to raise a hand if they agree with you. Toss the ball of yarn to a student whose hand is raised and have her wrap the yarn around her waist before tossing it to another student with a raised hand. Continue this until you get to the last person with a raised hand, who then gets to choose another stick and the game continues. You’ll end up learning about each other while creating a web, illustrating that you’re all connected in some way.