From Back to school Worksheets and Beyond
From back to school worksheets and beyond, The Core Coaches are here to help you go back to school with excitement AND ease!
We remember two clear back to school feelings when we were teachers: the excitement AND the overwhelm. By the end of summer we were excited to start a fresh year. We were also overwhelmed at how much work goes into getting ready for back to school. Where did the overwhelm come from? Faculty meetings that took too much time. Not enough time in our classrooms. Trying to plan effective & engaging lessons for that first week of school.
We never did figure out how to make faculty meetings shorter. Has anyone? If so, let us know! We did figure out how to get our rooms set-up and our lessons planned though – without the overwhelm!
Before we left our classrooms, The Core Coaches learned to prepare for back to school in a way that was filled with excitement AND ease! One way we learned to make back to school lesson planning easy? Back to school worksheets! Sometimes teachers hear “worksheet” and think “it’s too easy.” Guess what though? Worksheets can be engaging & effective, while also being easy (for the teacher!).
One of the major reasons we started The Core Coaches was to make teaching easier for you! Easier in the way of preparation, but NOT easier for students – in a way that learning activities would lack rigor. Our goal is simply to provide you with engaging & rigorous materials that are easy to prepare and implement. Your students get rigorous standards-based instruction. You get time to enjoy teaching. We see it as a win-win!
Now, back to… back to school worksheets. We love them! They are a great way to implement Getting to Know You activities. Getting to Know You activities are a MUST for back to school! Getting to Know You activities are a great way for you to get to know your students. They are also a great way for your students to get to know each other.
Getting to Know You activities usually include the basics: name, favorite foods, favorite color, etc. The basics are important. There are also additional questions you can ask to get to know your students. We love to encourage teachers to get creative. One idea we always had fun with was giving our students “would you rather…” scenarios.
Beyond having students share things about themselves, remember to share a bit about yourself too. You can use the same back to school worksheets you give your students. Fill them out using your own information. Sharing your own back to school worksheets with your students helps them get to know you AND allows you to model the assignment.
In addition to Getting to Know You activities, there are other important activities for the first week of school. One important activity is introducing your students to the classroom and the school building. Back to school worksheets are also helpful for these activities. You can provide a worksheet where students have to build the classroom by labeling different areas of the room.
To get familiar with the school building, take students on a treasure hunt. Students can meet important people in the building, while learning where important rooms are, like the lunchroom and library.
Getting to Know You questions. Treasure hunts. All of these are equally important back to school activities.It’s helpful to include many different types of these activities the first week of school. These activities help build a classroom community. Don’t let that overwhelm you though. It’s actually a GOOD thing that these are all activities for the first week (or two) of school!
There are great back to school worksheets for ALL of these activities! You simply choose what worksheets work best for you & your students. Then, print them off OR upload them into Google Slides (if you are using digital learning resources). If you can, we suggest using printable back to school worksheets.
We know most of you are heading back to fully in-person learning after a long time apart. We are so excited for you! We also know that you transitioned to A LOT of digital learning last year! We think it’s great for you to have those options now.
Anytime you have your students in person, we encourage you to print your back to school worksheets. Why? It will add to the ease of your back to school to do list. All of the back to school worksheets that you print, you can use for bulletin boards! Yup! Your students’ getting to know you activities easily become your bulletin boards! All you have to do during teacher prep week is put up a border…and MAYBE a Title, but that’s it! You won’t have to spend anymore time decorating – just wait for the kids to arrive!
Using back to school worksheets to help you get to know your students will save you time & energy so you can focus on the excitement of going back to school!
Whether it is taking role or introducing yourself to your students when they come into the room, getting to know your students’ names is probably the first thing you do at the beginning of a new year! Did you know back to school worksheets are a great way to get familiar with student names?
Back to school worksheets that deal with student names are helpful for many reasons. Obviously, they tell you a student’s name. What else can they help with though? When students use a printed worksheet, they have something tangible to share. Students can use these as part of a Getting to Know You Activity. Students can see their peer’s names in writing, which is really helpful for little 1st & 2nd graders – especially those who are visual learners!
Beyond just the student name, using a back to school worksheet that connects the students’ names with things that represent them, can help YOU! Especially when you have students with the SAME name! Rather than just remembering “Sally J.” and “Sally M.” you may remember that Sally J. does Karate, and Sally M. plays the piano! Little pieces of information like this can help not only know your students’ names, but KNOW your students!
We heard from a lot of teachers that one of the hardest parts about last year was not connecting with your students. Mainly because, between masks and distance learning, names + faces were NOT easy to remember! Let alone whether a student did karate or played the piano. We can only imagine how difficult AND frustrating that must have been. Names are such an important part of making personal connections with students, and building a classroom community.
We know that this new school year will be different. You will be able to see your students’ cute smiling faces! It will probably still be a bit of an adjustment though. Use some back to school worksheets that are already “done for you,” to take the pressure off of planning. That way, you can focus on the Getting to Know You part of going back to school.
Back to school worksheets don’t have to be basic! Don’t get us wrong, the basics are important. We want you to know your students’ names! We also want you to know your students’ personalities.
As you prepare to head back to school, think about what you missed last year. What did you miss getting to know about your students?
Did you miss hearing about how they got a new puppy, but they really wanted a pet turtle. Did you miss them explaining, in detail, how they went to Disneyland and rode Dumbo the entire time? Maybe you missed noticing who loved art more than math, or vice versa. Maybe you missed giving students choices of which book they’d rather read.
Whatever it is you missed, we get it. We know that last year many of you missed out on truly getting to know your students! You missed out on the connections that are a key part of teaching. This year will be different though. We truly believe that!
This year, you get to interact with your students again. You get to know who is beyond the mask & the screen!
One easy way to get to know your students is by using back to school worksheets. Back to school worksheets are great for learning names. They are also great for learning personalities. First, think about those things you missed last year. Then, create questions that give students an opportunity to share their personalities. Use question prompts like “either / or” “if /then” “this / that” or “would you rather” as a place to begin.
Another fun idea? Make your back to school worksheets interactive! Have students walk around the room and get to know their peers by asking the same questions they just answered. After they’ve shared, post the worksheets on the bulletin board. The ways in which you can use back to school worksheets to make going back to school are limitless! Choose or create a few different ones to help you start your year with ease & excitement.