3 Easy To Do Activities for the First Days of School


Click below to hear 3 activities for the first days of school:

The first day of school is filled with so much excitement but can be full of stress and anxiety for our students. We all try to start the year off right by building relationships and community and often do this by using get-to-know-you activities or icebreakers. Unfortunately, these can cause unnecessary stress and create fear in students, especially ELLs. Today, we are looking at what we can do on those first days of school to build a safe and welcoming environment for all students.

In this episode, we are looking at how to prevent creating an unsafe or unwelcoming experience for our students at the beginning of the school year. We are talking about how ELL students may feel when put on the spot, three questions to ask yourself as you prep activities for the first days of school, and three activities you can use to ensure your ELLs feel safe, welcome, and comfortable in your classroom. We want to make sure our students can be involved, having fun, and making connections without the added fear and anxiety that some ice breakers can cause.

Interested in saving time on lesson planning and creating activities? Check out the  Equipping ELLs membership! Inside, you’ll have access to lessons, activities, and tons of resources. You’ll also connect with other ELL teachers from around the world! Hope to see you there!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • What types of activities can cause unnecessary anxiety in students, especially ELLS
  • Why you shouldn’t put students on the spot with ice breakers
  • What question to ask yourself when planning back to school activities 
  • Why it’s important for you to share about yourself before students share about themselves
  • Three activities you can do the first day of school to build a safe and welcoming environment for all students

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More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.


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