Back-to-school ideas for elementary and middle-level classrooms

Erica Magnusson
22nd August 2017
A group of excited elementary and middle school children in front of a blackboard

Welcome your new students, help them settle in and establish classroom rules with these time-saving resources

Whether you’re a 20-year veteran or a first year teacher, we know that you're currently in the middle of planning, prepping and organizing a million things to make sure your classroom is ready. That's why we've done some of the hard work for you by selecting a handful of back-to-school activities to ensure your students and their families are excited for the year ahead.

Open house activities   

Preparation is key as your set the expectations for the year and spend time meeting your new students and their families. This ready-to-print pack of forms is ideal for gathering contact and volunteer information from the parents, while important information can be shared using this fully editable presentation template.

Filling your bulletin board with the posters, birthday graphs and other creations within this all-about-me activity pack can quickly help your students feel more at home. Plus, stay organized and build excitement for upcoming events with this printer-friendly 2017-2018 school calendar.


FREE - Open House, Back to School & Meet the Teacher Sign In Sheets

Great for busy teachers! Just print these off and you'll be ready for that first visit from your students' parents! Tracks emails, phone numbers, interest in volunteering/speaking, etc.

Back to School Sign In Form
Meet the Teacher Sign in Form
Open House Sign In Form
By innovationsintechnology

Back to School Powerpoint

Having a 'back to school night' or an 'open house' for parents?

This is a Powerpoint presentation / template so you will be able to rearrange the slide order to suit your needs. You will also be able to delete any slides that you don't want in the presentation.

Here are the slides that are included:
•Welcome to our class
•Meet the Teacher
•School Info
•Related Arts
•Ways to help at home
•Ways to help at school
•Classroom Management
•Important Info
•Snacks & Lunch
•Things to Remember
•Dress Code
•Special Events
•Sending Money
•Classroom Procedures
•Don't Forget
•Transportation Info
•School Supplies
•Contact Information
•Wish List
•Our Schedule
AND 4 blank slides to customize for your needs!
By kisforkinderrific

Back to School Read All About Me

This beginning of the year resource includes a bulletin board header and All About Me Poster. In addition, there are several back-to-school expansion activities, including mini-me dolls to make and display with the back-to-school posters, and follow-up math and language arts activities to do in the first week back to shool.

In this download, you will get:
*back to school bulletin board title
*back to school All About Me poster
*back to school Meet Your Classmates activity
*Birthday tally sheet
*birthday graph
*Data analysis worksheet
By PracticeMakesPerfect1286

Back to School 2019-2020 School Calendar

2019-2020 Calendar

Purchase this one time and you can return and download the updated version every year for free!

This product is a PDF file that is printer friendly should be printed front and back. No clip art, no heavy borders requiring lots of ink!

Includes calendars for July 2019 - June 2020. Months and days are included and ready to print.

A) print on card stock or regular paper
B) hole punch for a prong folder or 3-ring binder
C) add a customized cover page
D) extend the life of the school calendar by printing it through a office/printing supply store and have it binded and the cover laminated.

By GottaLuvItCreations

Classroom procedures and icebreakers

Establish your classroom culture from the outset with these editable procedure task cards, designed to make learning routines interactive, memorable and fun for your students. 

Icebreakers are a reliable technique for helping learners get to know their peers, such as this classic icebreaker bingo game or these interactive icebreakers, complete with animations, music and fun countdown timers. And, make sure that the classroom is a safe space and spark a discussion about friendships with these drama circles cards.


Classroom Procedures Task Cards - Back to School

These fully editable and customizable cards in Microsoft PowerPoint can be used in a variety of ways in your classroom to help teach and reinforce your classroom procedures. They are appropriate for upper elementary through high school. For best results, print these on card stock and laminate.

• 20 Standard procedure cards, 4 per page, ready to be customized (PowerPoint, compatible with all versions)
• Additional blank templates for each of 4 color schemes to create additional procedure cards
• Ideas for use and customization instructions
By innovationsintechnology

Transition - Circle Time / Ice Breakers

This is the perfect addition to any classroom especially for transition!

This is a FULLY INTERACTIVE presentation with animation and MUSIC. The PPT consists of over 30 Slides with 12 activities and three of our fun count down timers.

Use the Circle Time Selector Wheel on slide 2 to select one of the 12 Circle time/Ice breaker activities within this presentation. click on a coloured segment of the selector to start it spinning and the hand to stop it. You can then click on the selected monster to take you to the relevant activity.

If you wish to be taken back to the Circle Time Selector, there is a signpost on each page. You have the option of selecting either one of the 5, 10 or 15 minute timers for each activity.

The timers included are:

5 Minutes: Pirate times
10 Minutes: Ultimate Bubble Timer
15 Minutes: Balloon Timer

We would love your feedback on this resource! If you like what you see, please follow us:


By TeachEliteUS

Ice Breaker Back to School

Icebreaker - Back to School People Search Handout. Use this at the beginning of the year as an icebreaker and getting to know you activity. Find someone who...Give this to the students, and give them time to find people on the grid and have them sign the box when they do. It's fun, and a good way for students to get to know each other. Afterwards, they will do a writing activity about the experience. You will end up not only getting to know your students, but you will have a work sample as well. Teacher directions included. - HappyEdugator
By Happyedugator

Back to School Drama Circle Making Friends.

This drama activity was designed for my 5th graders as a fun back to school activity and ice breaker as we get to know one another; seeing old friends again and establishing new friendships. It is also a great review of the speaking and listening strands and the Learner Profile and IB Attitudes. Thus also compatible with the CCSS ELA. There are numbered cards to help keep the younger kids on track and there are cards without numbers which I have used with my 5th graders to add rigour to the activity. The theme is around the new school year , what it takes to form friendships and has a lot of reflection as well as humour included.
Lots of laughter with this IB PYP set. Drama circles! They bring out the risk taking, creativity in all kids and everyone has so much fun! These printable cards are just one of my drama circle activities that I use to practice the trans- disciplinary skills of cooperation, social and communication to name a few. One card begins the round and each child has to act out the instructions on their card, following on from the previous card. It is great for literacy centres activities as well as cooperative group work.
Simply gather the children into a seated circle, shuffle the cards and distribute a card to each child. The start card leads the way and the children have to read their own instructions on their card and then listen and look for actions and words from the acting of each person so that they know when to take their turn.
This is developing listening and observational skills as well as communication, presentation and thinking skills. Not every card requires speaking; some ask only for miming. The cards marked with a star are less wordy and better to use with struggling readers or ELL kids. I usually review the card with those kids prior to the circle.
There are 32 cards within this packet and an instruction card. The drama cards can be used with 3rd-6th grade and used within a whole class scenario or smaller groups, where the children are given several cards to read and act from.
The concept of drama circles is a great ice breaker or a fun review of the IB skills and attitudes.
You can find more ideas and inquiry based activities on my blog at
~ Susan Powers
By Susan Powers

Contact us

Visit our forums

Latest education news

New to TES Resources ? Find out more about becoming an author on TES, or dive straight in and start downloading.