25 beginning of the year activities you can use right away!

Are you looking for new and engaging ways to kick off the new school year? Here are 25 ready to go activities for you to try.

The beginning of the school year is filled with teaching procedures and getting to know you activities. Most of us have our tried and true go-tos that we pull out year after year.

But what if we want to shake things up a bit? What if there were tons of different and innovative activities out there just waiting for us to try?

Well, just leave it to the #Ditchbook community to give us TONS of ideas in just 30 minutes! During our weekly Twitter chat (Thursdays at 7 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. MST / 9 p.m. CST / 10 p.m. EST), we asked educators to share their favorite back to school activities along with links to the resources. And they did!

Below you will find 25 beginning of the year activities that you can use right away. Check out this Wakelet to see even MORE ideas from the chat. Also, be sure to visit our back to school Pinterest page filled with ideas from the #Ditchbook community.

25 activities to kick off the school year

Most of the headings below are links. Click on them to be taken straight to the resource for that activity.

1. Complete a G Suite tools refresher HyperDoc (click here for even more).

2. Learn to be a Chromebook Lifeguard then have kids create their own meme!

3. Gauge tech skills with a 3-minute challenge.

4. Become Digital Citizenship Superheros.

5. Teach students proper email etiquette.

6. Go on a Google Docs Scavenger hunt!

7.  Review or teach Chromebook policies (and play a fun Kahoot!)

8. Create an “All About Me” poster with Adobe Spark.

9. Complete the TLAP Play-Doh challenge HyperDoc.

10. Share your hopes and dreams for the year

11. Try visual learning selfies.

12. Create an icon board.

13. Have fun with a beginning of the year QR Break-In!

14. Create Vision Boards (blog post by Kasey Bell).

15. Practice following directions in Google Drawings.

16. Get to know your students with a 360 spreadsheet.

17. Start the year off with One Word.

18. Play “Two Truths and a Lie” on Flipgrid.

19. Get to know your classmates with the “thin slides” Eduprotocol.

20. Frayer a friend (Google Drawings template).

21. Create a custom Google Classroom banner.

22. Try a teamwork digital escape room.

23. Have students create their own island.

24. Introduce the design process with a watercraft challenge.

25. Get to know each other with a “mystery person” activity.

Looking for even MORE beginning of the year ideas? Check out these related posts:

What are your favorite beginning of the year activities? Leave your recommendations in a comment below.

Want to get in on the next #DitchBook Twitter chat?

Having trouble? Still unclear on how a Twitter chat works? Feel free to tweet to these #DitchBook ambassadors and they’ll help — Karly Moura @karlymoura, Sean Fahey @seanjfahey, Sandy Otto @sandyrotto, Rachel Marker @rachelmarker, Evan Mosier @emosier3, Mandi Tolen @TTmomTT, Craig Klement @craigklement, Tara Martin @taramartinedu, Krista Harmsworth @zonie71, Anne Kamper @annekamper, Rayna Freedman @rlfreedm, Lance McClard @drmcclard, Stephanie DeMichele @sdemichele or David Platt @herrplatt!

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

  Date Event / Event Details City / More Info
+ 02/23/2020—02/26/2020
Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference Pittsburgh, PA
+ 03/04/2020—03/05/2020
North Carolina Technology in Education Society Raleigh, NC
+ 03/10/2020
Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference Provo, UT
+ 03/15/2020
Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies Conference Madison, WI
+ 03/19/2020—03/20/2020
CUE Conference Palm Springs, CA
+ 04/28/2020
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Norristown, PA
+ 06/09/2020
North Alabama Technology Conference Huntsville, AL
+ 06/10/2020
Blended Learning Conference Sevierville, TN
+ 06/11/2020
Summer Digital Learn Conference North Wilkesboro, NC
+ 06/12/2020—06/14/2020
DBC Pirate Con San Diego, CA
+ 06/28/2020—07/01/2020
ISTE Anaheim, CA
+ 12/03/2020
Tennessee Educational Technology Association Conference Murfreesboro, TN