Meet The Teacher: transition activities

It's that time of year filled with all the emotions: upset to leave the class you've grown such a bond with, anxious/excited about your new class, and very very relieved that all the hard work for the year has paid off. What a rewarding job we have! Now the cycle starts again and we realise how young they always are at the start of the year. Most schools do a transition activity, afternoon, or full-day (some even more!) and it is a great opportunity to start to get to know your new class and begin preparations for September. From my own experiences, I've listed a few easy, useful activities for your transition time.

transition activities with a new primary school class.


1. Birthday cards - Get children to decorate a birthday card for someone else in their class (making sure each of them will get one!)

2. Design their peg and tray labels - Then all you'll need to do is laminate and put them up. These could include things they like, favourite subject/colours, etc. I've found having things they have already created in their new classroom gives them ownership of the space from the start.

3. Get a display-ready - If you can, have some displays up and ready for the class to come in on the first day.  It saves you a job once the work starts and finding time becomes near impossible! Depending on how many display areas you have, you could create a class contract with handprints, self-portraits, or their own rules. 'About us' displays are popular, especially ones they look like puzzle pieces or fish in the ocean with a message of how they are all equal and a team. As a PSHE session, you could discuss what makes a great student/teacher and then create posters labeling those attributes on a person.
primary school welcome year 2 display

4. Decide on a class animal/mascot to use for circle time and to use as a behaviour reward. 'The panda will sit on the quietest table.' The mascot could also be taken home by the star of the week for the weekend with a journal to write about their weekend together.

5. Play some circle game activities - These are great ice breakers and gets the children's personalities to start to shine. My class loved playing swap places if...(you love maths, like carrots, are a fast runner, etc)  Using the class mascot (if already decide on) go around the circle sharing their favourite subjects or one thing they want to learn about in the new year.

6. Vote on topics for the year -  If topics are up to you, find out what they are interested in. Maybe hold some polls to see which topics they want and let them blind vote- Castles, Dinosaurs, Titanic, Great Fire of London or Seasides, etc.

Please comment below with any other transition activity ideas!

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