First Day of School Activities for Special Education Students

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  • 0:04 The First Day Counts
  • 0:44 Visual Activities
  • 2:39 Kinesthetic Activities
  • 4:02 Verbal Activities
  • 5:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

The first day of school is important for everyone, and for special education students, it can be especially consequential. This lesson gives you some ideas for making the first day of school effective for your students with special needs.

The First Day Counts

All teachers know how important the first day of school can be. Your students are making their first impressions on you, and you are helping them get to know you and feel comfortable in the classroom. For students with special needs, the first day of school can feel nerve-wracking and uncertain. Moreover, it is especially important for you to start getting to know these students right away.

This lesson describes activities to help you get to know your students, help them get to know you, and get the school year off to a safe and comfortable start. Select any combination of these activities to plan the first day of school.

Visual Activities

Many special education students benefit from activities that let them learn visually and exercise creative expression.

Extended Name Tags

Ask your students to make extended name tags to introduce themselves to each other. In the middle of a large card, they should write their names. Then, in each corner, they should draw a small, simple picture. The upper left corner should show a person they love, the upper right corner should show a place they like to be, the lower left corner should show a favorite food, and the lower right corner should show a hobby.

Help your students share their name tags with their new classmates. They will get to know each other as they describe the pictures on their name tags.

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