When planning my Back To School activities for elementary school, I stick to the same tried and true formula year after year. I know I need to teach my students collaboration strategies, so we play fun interactive games. I want my class to get to know one another, so we play ice breaker games. It’s important to assess the students’ understanding of last year’s lessons. And I’d like to teach them any other strategies that may be new to them, so I use Back To School project based learning activities. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy these first week activities for school. Click to read more about my strategy for math back to school activities.

When planning my Back To School first week’s lessons, I plan using the following list:

What are the most important things for me to accomplish with my math activities in the first few weeks of school?

  1. Teach the students my collaboration strategies
  2. Assess the students understanding of previous lessons
  3. Ice breaker activities

Collaboration Strategies

It’s the first week of school. Your students will DEFINITELY need the refresher course in Manners 101. “Do I have to sit next to (____)?” Teach your students collaboration strategies through interactive fun lessons. Have your students make collaborative vision boards. In this activity, students visualize their goals and create a vision board, an important practice to help their dreams become a reality. Work together as a team to create the vision board, learning more about one another and mapping out the final product!


Assess previous understanding

When implementing Back to School activities, it’s important to be strategic. Find some material from the previous grade level to see what areas you need to review before starting your standard curriculum.

Ice Breaker Games

My favorite ice breaker games includes creating fun responses! I create cards like the ones below, laminate them to reuse as writing prompts, and then pass them out to all of the students.


First, pass out one card to each student. All students stand up and raise their hand and begin to walk carefully around the classroom. Students go to their nearest classmate who has a raised hand. When they have found a partner, they both put their hands down. The students take turns asking each other the questions on their card, making sure to make eye contact and listen to one another while they speak. When both students have finished answering their questions, they switch cards with one another. Both students should raise their hands and walk around the classroom until they find another student with their hand raised. Repeat these steps for as long as you’d like. At the end of the activity, collect the cards. I like to ask the questions and have students answer with the most interesting answers they received. This is a really fun way to get to know the class.

If you want the complete set with 40 prompts you can find it in my TPT store here.

I hope you enjoyed these back to school activities for elementary. Looking for more activities and ice breakers?