Starting the Year Off Right: Powerful Activities for Day 1

Leaders: Seth Guinals-Kupperman and Frank Noschese |

A great first day with a new class can set the tone just right for a great year together. This workshop will explore and showcase engaging first-day-of-school activities for science and math teachers. We will consider opportunities and challenges from both student and teacher’s perspective, and have a chance to experiment with a range of activities. The aim of the workshop is to create a space for math and science teachers to consider effective ways to cultivate classroom community and create dynamic learning environments that will grow and thrive throughout the year.

We will experiment with science/math themed icebreakers, strategies for how to build a positive learning environment, ideas for how to get students engaged with an inquiry approach from the start, and how to get students excited for math or science from day 1.


1. Marshmallow Challenge

2. Ball Bounce

3. Petals on the Rose

4. Lab Grouping Game

Updated template with words for up to 10 groups of 4 students:!ApnZRKSJ0lCAgexvp3NUdSBb2Ap8qA

5. Whirly-gig

6. Mystery Cube

7. Card Sort Challenge from Frank Lee

8. Build a Boat (and a classroom culture) from Erica Posthuma-Adams

9. Help Harry from Juliette Guarino Berg

Email to add your activity to the list!