![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/3faa8b0c-e3e4-4421-a5a0-f55155a2532b/1f1b9a3c-3bc3-427b-8e77-3f453353f4abdeleece-cook-zzjLGF_6dx4-unsplash.jpg "Chalkboard with 'Back to school' written in chalk") Photo by [Deleece Cook](https://unsplash.com/@deleece?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/back-to-school?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) **We asked Sophie Bartlett, Year 5/6 teacher and English and Curriculum Lead, about her favourite ‘get to know your class' activities. Get to grips with your new class this September with her list of 9 activities.** The second half of the summer holidays always seems to go more quickly, doesn’t it?! That first day back can bring lots of excitement and nervous energy – for both teachers and children alike. Here are some activities for easing everyone back into the chaos that is term-time and for helping everyone get to know each other a little better! 9 get to know you activities to use in your first week ------------------------------------------------------ These are tried and tested get to know you activities that my pupils and I have loved. ### 1\. Choose a class story together You may have already chosen a book based on your first topic. If so, consider using it the following term (when the children will already have the knowledge of the topic to benefit their understanding of the text – see Doug Lemov’s theory regarding embedding non-fiction) and instead, allow the class to choose their first text. Choose 5-6 high-quality texts (or more, depending on how much time you have!) and discuss them with the children – show the front covers, read the blurbs and maybe the first page. Get children to vote for their favourite one! ### 2\. Figure me out Create a poster designed around numbers used to describe yourself. For example, your age, birth day or year, number of siblings or pets, number of years you’ve been teaching, etc. Cover each number with a Post-it note containing a number sentence that gives the answer to the number hidden below. These can obviously be differentiated depending on the age group you’re teaching. [There are a number of examples of these sort of posters online](https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1VDKB_enGB1008GB1008&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=figure+me+out+posters&fir=1klzYcWCA09i5M%252C7lO6rQD7Fl9DWM%252C_%253BSOeXcaWO4lKZSM%252CQMVN5Mb6Pef3PM%252C_%253BxVQqEitdzeQI_M%252CkBbvAcBpg8U9uM%252C_%253Bg1zg0hk7sdjKbM%252C0jse7ui5-R7ccM%252C_%253BVx6IcMgT4l70IM%252CSaPQJom2xovXuM%252C_%253BzhwW0rxpra7ICM%252CahCNEcrejvCiLM%252C_%253ByR-QuUpfZON2GM%252CvgwC7E6rQ0SwDM%252C_%253BTosquP7jkkUJlM%252Cc-ZcsrXyHZyGOM%252C_%253BM3u7FHrczIE_MM%252CGIv7R5DM4IWShM%252C_%253Bx4Yyvnoe-gJ0JM%252CLiGg0NPiWBIEAM%252C_%253BUisbmwYevorwJM%252CP2_Ldd2FQMxoUM%252C_%253Bg0xyzh9Ch9JoEM%252C0jse7ui5-R7ccM%252C_%253Br_7T_j1BZsYmhM%252CqdlwgB-1Pt75MM%252C_%253BxFGXo1c5WwdezM%252CrBcidsIHWmsXDM%252C_%253BWmVemKry_mdRaM%252CH_OE6WxUbQibRM%252C_%253BZnM8nPq7ORSYQM%252CF3S0ztv6lOHtoM%252C_%253B222e1Ybr9X43LM%252CFLKV4uCCkTPx4M%252C_%253BLcQvmCIZeT1YeM%252CkStg3lz5X1DzXM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kTaePUDLyXMYp2MivSZdP8jehdWhQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiHgIeln9D5AhXViVwKHUiNA2wQjJkEegQIAhAC&biw=1920&bih=969&dpr=1) Ask children to create their own ‘Figure me out’ posters for display! * * * * * **Related content:** [Ready to Progress: a guide and free resources](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/readytoprogress) [13 ideas for teaching wellbeing and self care](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/teacher-wellbeing-and-self-care) * * * * * ### 3\. Shopping game Everyone knows this classic memory game: “I went to the shops and bought an apple… I went to the shops and bought an apple and a banana… I went to the shops and bought an apple, a banana and some cream…” etc. Try this with something important or special to each child as you go round the circle. For example, “Freddie went to the shops and bought a football… Freddie bought a football and Luna bought some books… Freddie bought a football, Luna bought some books and Sahil bought a cat…” etc. ### 4\. Bingo Create a sheet with around 20 ‘Find someone who…’ statements on. You can find lots of these online but it’s good to personalise these to your own class, such as ‘Find someone who joined this school in Year 3’; ‘Find someone whose favourite subject is science’; ‘Find someone who can speak another language’, etc. Ask the children to circulate the class and find a different name to fill in every box – you can take part too! ### 5\. Parachute game Now, of course this doesn’t actually have to be done with a parachute (the children can just swap places across a circle) but as lots of schools seem to have them, it adds a bit of extra fun! Ask children to spread evenly around the parachute, each holding some of the edge. When you shout out some criteria, everyone lifts up the parachute and those who meet the criteria let go of their edge, run underneath the parachute and swap with someone else. This could be children with August birthdays, those who have dogs, those who wear glasses… it’s particularly fun to shout something that applies to everyone (“Swap if you’re in my class this year!”) so they all have to run underneath and find another edge before the parachute falls down! ### 6\. Dear Future Me Ask the children to write letters to themselves to read at the end of the academic year. It could include how they’re currently feeling about starting the year, their targets for the year, what they’re looking forward to or are worried about etc. As always, it’s good to model this first! You could write one for yourself too. Collect them in and hide them away to read at the end of the year. You could even bury them in the school field and plant something on top (something that will grow in a year!) ### 7\. Julian Opie style portraits ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/3faa8b0c-e3e4-4421-a5a0-f55155a2532b/4d01a587-5e60-4d51-9107-3a6dfef3dc93Julian_Opie_style_portraits_Sophie_B.jpg "Julian Opie as a getting to know you activity") [See Sophie's original Twitter post](https://twitter.com/_MissieBee/status/1106533694762872835) Julian Opie has a very specific style of art – luckily one that is fairly simple to recreate, but effective! Take photos of the children’s faces, close up and in good lighting and print them in A4. In thick black pen (or something that will soak through to the other side of the paper), children should trace the outline of their faces and other key features, such as nostrils and pupils. Flip the photo over and the ink should have soaked to the other side. Using another piece of paper, trace the outline – then paint! Encourage the children to stick to bold, bright colours. ### 8\. Google box Children are the most inquisitive of creatures, as we know! As much as we’d love to be able to answer everything on the spot, it’s not always possible. Start a box (or use a blank exercise book) that children can use to post/write any questions they have – about anything! Each morning (or once a week, depending on how many questions you get), spend some time going through the questions and answering them (probably best to Google them beforehand rather than in front of the children – unless it’s a fairly straightforward one like ‘How many people are in the world?’) ### 9\. Learning by Questions (LbQ) Using a topic you’re going to teach first (perhaps place value in maths), select a task on LbQ from a year or two below the one you’re teaching (i.e. if you’re teaching Year 5, choose a Year 3 or 4 task). Set the children up on it to introduce them to LbQ. For the majority of children, it should give a sense of success (as hopefully they’ll be able to answer most of the questions being from an age group lower than their own) but also give you a good idea of where any gaps might be so you can address them accordingly in your upcoming lessons. You can use LbQ to get to know your class this September with a [free 6 week supported trial](https://www.lbq.org/TryLbQ). _Learning by Questions harnesses the power of continuous formative assessment and immediate feedback in the classroom. It contains an online library of award-winning resources, written by experienced teachers, with extensive National Curriculum coverage of English, maths and science objectives._