Back to School Activities Round Up for Social Emotional Learning

Let’s take the BS out of BTS with my favorite Back to School resources for K-3. These tools will be key to support a smooth, heart-focused first week of school. I've included resources to foster a well-rounded, social-emotional learning program to help your students:

get grounded
express themselves
talk about their feelings
develop character education skills
& connect with one another

Whether teaching at school in a room, at home through the Zoom, on a train, on a plane or in the rain, you will be ready with these digital, no-prep, community building games. Includes a Back to School version of 4 Corners, Stand Up Sit Down and a “If I Were a Teacher” version. 

4 Corners is a  classic getting to know you game with a modern twist! Students will either a) Drag their digital sticky note onto their choice b) Raise the sign that's included to respond or c) Physically move to the corner of their choice. 3 different ways to play so that you're prepared for any changes in protocol.

Best Back to School Icebreakers for Primary Grades

Jitters Bear Craft

I love using crafts to approach such big topics as anxiety. When we engage in play or creation, we are quieting that defence mechanism that makes our kids hypersensitive to our reactions to what they tell us. The Jitters Bear craft is the perfect way to connect about how they feel during the first week and beyond, through the comfort of an adorable little bear booklet.

Back to School Jitters Craft on Teachers Pay Teachers 

✓ What others like you are saying: 
• "What an adorable resource! Students loved the bear craft and it was very engaging and fun overall!" -Jay
• "My students loved this craft! I loved hearing their responses." -Sara

Love Your Selfie Craft

Growth mindset begins with positive self-talk, which should ultimately be encouraged from the moment they walk into the room. These multicultural templates allow your children to create a self-portrait they're proud of without the hassle of starting from scratch.

Best Back to School Crafts for Counseling Groups on TPT

✓ What others like you are saying: 
• "I loved this resource because I was able to give my kids a variety of choices for their "self portrait". They look so cute hanging in our classroom!" -Brittany C.
• "This resource is perfect for social emotional learning and helping students build their self esteem. I used this with my first graders and they absolutely love it. Thank you!" -Jasmine D.


Mindful Backpack Glyph

Find out what your student's perfect school would look, sound and feel like with this one-of-a-kind backpack glyph! Students will LOVE seeing how their peers' answers correlate with what they end up packing. 

Backpack Mindful Craft Glyph for Back to School


Growth Mindset Activities

It's critical that we as teachers introduce the concept of growth mindset during the first weeks of school as an investment and springboard to confident, resilient learners. This bundle includes activities, games, crafts, coloring pages and social stories that introduce the Power of Yet(i), what a growth mindset looks and feels like, and the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset. 

Growth Mindset Activities on Teachers Pay Teachers

✓ What others like you are saying: 
• "I was just starting integrating this into our morning meetings, and let me just say, the amount of growth in the short amount of time is proof of how great these messages and this resource is. It's helped my students, in general, but I must admit, watching the few students that particularly troubled by failure process their mistakes with more resiliency has given me more joy than nearly any other thing has this year. " -Ariane O.

Back to School SEL Early Finisher Activities

Coloring is a universal fan favorite when it comes to staying grounded. Each SEL coloring page set in the store has been created intentionally to help build those emotional skills alongside fine motor skills. You will find activities that target growth mindset, emotions, mindfulness and friendship skills.

Back to School August and September Early Finishers Activities for Kids

Classroom Expectations

One of my least favorite parts of the first week is reiterating classroom expectations. As someone who needs to infuse creativity into everything in order for me to feel motivated enough to really sell it, I kept coming up short for ideas. After brainstorming with your class, use these posters and coloring book to get the job done.

Back to School Classroom Rules Posters and Coloring Book


✓ What others like you are saying: 
• "These are way too cute! I have them printed and ready to put up in my classroom! Thank you for another amazing resource :)" -Anna B.
• "My students really loved these posters and I'll continue to use them over and over. Thank you for another great resource!" -Peter N.

Before you leave, don't forget this FREE Back to School Guide!

Jam-packed with ideas (& freebies) to support a smooth, fulfilled transition.

Back to School Plan for the First Week of School SEL Lessons

What are you most looking forward to this Back to School season?

Let me know in the comments below!

Lots of love,

Namaste in School

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