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Back to School Activities for Elementary Teachers

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of Back to School time! For teachers, it’s an especially fun time of year, but also quite exhausting. With so many small details to attend to, it’s hard to get everything done. That’s why I am sharing seven time-saving back to school activities for elementary teachers.

image with colored pencils reading "Time-Saving Back to School Activities for Elementary Teachers"

With so many little things on your to-do list, it can be really hard to not feel stressed and anxious about that first week back to school. You want it to be fun and meaningful for your students, but you also probably don’t have a ton of time to create those first days of school activities. Give these back to school activities for elementary teachers a try. Your students will love them, and they will get to know you and their classmates much more quickly. Plus, they are just print and go, so there is very little prep time involved!

7 Back to School Activities for Elementary Teachers:

1. All About Me Pennant Banner: Print out a banner template and have students complete it. Then, string all of the completed banner pieces for a beautiful classroom display. You can find this banner template in my Back to School Activities Packet. This is a great way for you and your students to get to know each other during that first week back to school!

All About Me Pennant Banner

2. Student Interest Inventory: Looking for an easy way to learn about your students’ interests, likes, and dislikes? Print out this inventory and have students complete it. I like to have a student of the week during the school year, and this is a great way to highlight some of their interests and favorite things.

3. Sign Me Up Student Scavenger Hunt: This is probably one of my students’ favorite back to school activities every year. Each student takes their sheet around the room and finds a classmate who matches each square. That classmate signs the square and the students move on to find another classmate. I usually only allow each student to sign one square per page so that students have to connect with more than just a few classmates. It’s so much fun to hear the students discovering fun things about each other during this activity!

4. Back to School Word Scramble: Sometimes during that first week, there are unexpected spare minutes to fill. A fun word scramble and word search are included in my Back to School Activities Packet for this very reason.

5. Multiplication Color the Path: While I was working on benchmark fluency assessments with individual students during the first week of school, I needed something fun AND academic to quietlyly occupy the other students in the classroom. By having a few fun math and reading printables on hand, it was a lot less stressful for everyone during benchmark time. These sheets were a LIFESAVER!

6. Printable, NO COST Reward Coupons: Set a positive tone in your classroom from the start with reward coupons. Rewards don’t have to cost anything! Students love being able to sit in a special seat, having a homework pass, or being first in line. Print out a stack of coupons to have on hand from Day #1, and you’re off to a great start!

7. Back to School Color by Code: Review parts of speech during the first week of school with these fun Parts of Speech Color by Code Printables. Students LOVE them, and they will ask for more. Guaranteed!

Back to School Coloring Page

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Every little detail does not have to be perfect. Your students will remember how you treated them more than they will remember what decor theme you used. (although classroom decor is SO much fun…) You’ve got this!

You can find all the Back to School Activities for Elementary Teachers mentioned above right here:


 Back to School Activities for Kids Back to School Coloring Pages

Looking for More Seasonal Learning?

If you love connecting your classroom learning to the seasons or holidays then you must check out these other posts. Here are many seasonal activities that will engage your students while still keeping them focused on the important skills and standards they need.


Shelly Rees

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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