First Week of School Plans

 I know that summer is just beginning for most of you or maybe you've been on summer vacation for well over a month and after the year we've had the last thing that you want to think about is school starting. I feel you, HOWEVER I am going on vacation next month and I know that when I get back there will only be 14 days until school starts. Along with the threads in the Facebook pages asking about everyone's first week plans, I've been preparing for my first week as well. When I return from vacation, I want to focus on setting my room up and preparing for Meet the Teacher, not my first week of school plans. 

Below were my plans for last year. (I know that some of the times are wonky, I fixed them for this year!) While most of the plans stuck there were some areas in which I had to edit due to time or unforeseen circumstances that arose. I will go through and explain, along with linking where I got the resources. I am not sponsored by Amazon nor do I collect profit from linking things from Amazon here. 


On the first day, I typically like to start off with this idea from Hope King and Amy Lemons. They presented a session at Get Your Teach On called "STEAM Mania" and this was one of the activities. Students used the STEAM Engineering Process to build but ultimately they used the LEGOs and glasses to build a pair of glasses that represented them. I don't have the permission to share the the resources I used but below our the links to the glasses and LEGOs.



 Building Blocks Glasses - Pack of 6 - Block Mania Building Block Glasses with Extra Bricks for Carnival Supplies, Stocking Stuffers and Birthday Party Favors for Kids by Bedwina



My students working on the worksheets from Hope King and Amy Lemons while also creating glasses that they felt represented them the best. 

Next, I read the students the book "Germs vs. Soap." It is such a cute book that emphasizes the importance of students washing their hands and what germs do as they are partying around. After reading the book, I used a powder substance called Glo Germs that is only activated by a black light. My school nurse gave me this idea when COVID first was popping up in the country. I sprinkled some of it on my students hands  and told them to pretend that they had just sneezed. I asked them to touch their faces, desk, water bottles...etc. The results did not disappoint. Amazon also has a 'lotion' version of the Glow Germ if you prefer that!




Student who rubbed her mask after using the Glo Germ.

After lunch, we worked one of my favorite activities from Cooties and Cuties and 2nd Grade Sassy Pants: Unlock the Year. She has a VARIETY of these activities for different parts of the year and the students absolutely love them. She also has a reading version: Unlock the Text, that is great to practice skills being taught throughout the year. I love this one specifically because it is a great way for students to review and practice the skills that they learned in 3rd Grade. The activity is linked below: 

At the end of the day, I introduced them to Canvas and logging into their Chromebooks but I saved the best for the last day of school: SAVING FRED. Now I don't know who originally came up with this lesson, as I found it when I was a first year teacher 7 years ago but it has always been one of my favorite first day activities. I get all of the materials from the DOLLAR STORE. Amazing right!? Teachers Pay Teachers has a bunch of resources to supplement this activity but I don't use any of them. I have all the materials set up at their spots when they come in from Recess. I tell them not to touch anything or they cannot participate (and what a bummer that would be). I tell this dramatic story about how Fred is not the smartest worm and sailing without his life vest and his boat overturned and now he is on top of his capsized boat and his life vest is under the boat. I tell them Fred needs their help to get the life vest and save Fred. They think it's SO easy until I tell them they can only use a paperclip to touch Fred and they can only use one hand. Then they see, it won't be as easy. It is a lot of fun to watch students fail and keep trying again. It brings great conversations about how we often have to fail in order to succeed, team work and communication. If students finish early, I challenge them to actually get the lifesaver around Fred. I then reward them all with a fresh gummy worm. 

  • Small clear cup 
  • Gummy worms 
  • Gummy Lifesavers 
  • One paperclip per student in group 

Day two starts off the same, we practice our morning procedures but I introduce the book, "Our Class is a Family." I love this book and is a great way to tie in rules. After reading the book, we come up with our class rules, choose our "Big Three" and then students sign a contract (aka a giant piece of anchor chart paper with the three rules on it) saying that they will do their best to follow the rules. 

In Reading, we used our Reading Notebook to talk about Fiction and Non-Fiction. I found a little activity on Teachers Pay Teachers that helped students recognize the difference between the two.

We continue working on the Unlock the School Year Activity and take our beginning of the year Math Benchmark Assessment from the district. We begin our read aloud, work on Canvas some more but then I introduce something new in Science. This activity is now one of my favorite activities and it is from Maniacs in the Middle. I do not want to give her product away, but it is SO good. Go check it out! 



Pictures of my students completing the activity with our class pet, Toothless and the final activity. 


Much like Day 2, we continued activities that we started earlier on in the week. We did this fun Digital Escape Room from Performing in Education that allowed students to practice logging into Canvas and accessing an assignment. They worked together to "Escape from Camp Emoji." This activity is a review of 3rd Grade ELA and Math Skills, so it was the perfect amount of fun and review.  Check it out below: 

We continued discussing Fiction vs. Non-Fiction and while my plans don't reflect it, we did a Digital Book Tasting that I created using books from Epic. I love doing Book Tastings but with COVID, I was unsure of how to go about it, so I created my own "Taste of Reading." Each of the books are tied with a book on Epic, so students can easily click on it and see what kind of books they enjoy. I left the last bookshelf blank, so you can add books of your own. 

Click on the picture to take you to this resource, where it will force you to make a copy. Enjoy :) 

To wrap up the week, we did the Science Penguins Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. This is a freebie from The Science Penguin and just allowed us to go outside with different science topics and she has it in Spanish as well. Students had fun trying to find the things on the checklist, although we couldn't find it all!


While lengthy, this is my first week in a nut shell. I hope that seeing some plans and ideas helps inspire you to have a great first week of school. It is all about building relationships and building upon your procedures and expectations. Feel free to reach out to me by finding me on Instagram @soonandso4th or emailing me at 

ENJOY the rest of your summer. 

1 comment

  1. Thank you! First year teacher and I got 4th grade. This helped give me a starting point.