Back to School Survival Tips


Welcome to the 2 Peas and a Dog Middle School Blog! This is the first stop of your blog hop journey. On this hop you will have access to 16 current middle school bloggers who will share their tips and tricks of the trade for the first days of middle school.


At each stop the blogger will share a tip or two and offer up a freebie to help you start off your year with some new fresh ideas.


First Day Survival Tip # 1 - Be Over Prepared

I am starting my 7th year of teaching this fall and the one thing I have learned is BE over prepared for the first day. Have extra sheets, ice breakers, desks etc You will need them. I have had 6 first days of school plus 3 first days of summer school. It is a given that something will go wrong. Having some extra sheets, an extra desk or extra games/lessons planned ensures that you are prepared for just about anything. Keep extras of all the forms and hand outs from the first day, because inevitably you will get a new student that day, week, month or year.

The first day of school in my 2nd year of teaching, I had just finished roll call and a student said to me "you forgot to call me". I searched up and down the class list for their name. They assured me the principal told them I was their teacher. I immediately paged the office, and they principal (who did not tell them I was their teacher) took the student around to check all the other homeroom classes. Sure enough I was not their teacher. Now I feel really silly about calling the principal instead of checking with the other teachers, but hey I was still a newbie.


First Day Survival Tip # 2 - Alphabetical Seating Plan

I usually have to learn between 90 - 120 students name the first week of school (more for some of you middle school rotary teachers) and I want to know all their names by the end of the first week. So I seat all the students alphabetically by last name. I write their names on the desk with dry erase markers so they can easily find their seat.


First Day Survival Tip # 3 - Wear Comfortable Shoes

The first day of school is not the best time to try out your new sky high heels, dress shoes or combat boots. You will be standing all day, which you have not been doing most likely in the summer, and I guarantee their will be a fire drill, timetable mix up or an expected field trip. If you want to be in great shape for day 2 - wear comfortable shoes or break in your new shoes the week before.


First Day Survival Tip # 4 - Spice Up Your Ice Breaker Games

I plan on using the game 2 Truths and a Lie and combining it with a Snowball ice breaker. Each student will write 2 truths and 1 lie about themselves on a piece of paper. They will crumple it up and throw it into a bucket and mixed around. Then the bucket will get passed around and everyone will have a new snowball to read. They then have to mingle around the classroom and ask other classmates to help they figure out who their snowball might belong to. We will meet back up as a group to read the 2 truths and a lie and see if the person guessed right. These minor changes make these tried and true games more fun.


What is your favourite ice breaker? 
Help me add some new ideas to my first week routine.  I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
As a thank you for dropping please click on the photo to check out my back to school "Welcome Back" bingo freebie for you.

Click to download from Teachers Pay Teachers

Instructions for Welcome Back Bingo
Have students wander around the class and find classmates who fit the description in the box. Once they find the student who matches the description in the box, the student who matches must sign their initials in the box as proof. Have prizes for the first student to make a bingo, the first student to fill the whole card, the first student to come see you. Get creative!

Follow 2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Resources's board Back to School on Pinterest.

Want More Back to School Goodies? Start Hopping!




7 comments

  1. Awwww....I'm a bit bummed that you can only participate in the contest with a facebook account (plus 1 entry for a "tweet"). I don't have, nor do I want, a facebook (or twitter) account. Oh well, it was nice visiting all the blogs and collecting a few freebies along the way.

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    1. Sorry Renaissance Teacher. Rafflecopter is very limited with a free account. I hope you liked all the freebies :)

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  2. Amen to tip #3!! Does anyone else lose their voice after the first week?

    Thanks for the tips!

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  3. Thanks for such a great freebie! Come back today to TBA, because you are my featured blogger!
    ~Fern
    TBA
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

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    Replies
    1. Bloggy love to the random number generation! I am so excited!!!!

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  4. This is the best set of ice breakers! From TPT:
    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Beginning-of-the-Year-Team-Building-Activities-Ice-Breaker-Get-to-Know-You-Ideas-263126

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I LOVE comments.

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