Sunday, February 15, 2015

New Student Student Scavenger Hunt: Welcoming New Students After the School Year Starts

I have been struggling to juggle the many things that have been going on in my life. Sadly, blogging has been one of the balls that has dropped. I keep wanting to publish a new post, but haven't known where to even start. I have lots of ideas for posts, but I can't seem to get them out of my head and into a post. Today I decided to just go for it... there is no time like the present. I decided to write about welcoming new students because I have had a few new students in the past few weeks. Looking through my drafts I realized that I had started this post last year and never published it.

So, here we go...

*** This is an idea that I used last year. This year I did not do the same thing, but I am hoping to do this again in the future for new 6th graders who come later in the year. I am planning to write a new post soon of what I am currently doing to welcome new students! ***

Last school year I wanted to try some creative ways to welcome students who come after the school year has started. I wanted to think of something to help new students feel connected and introduce them to key people in their new school. One of the ideas I came up with was a New Student Scavenger Hunt!


I created the New Student Scavenger Hunt to introduce students to key people in the school. As a new student it can be scary to put yourself out there or to introduce yourself to new people. I thought that by having it be a game with a reward it would motivate students to get out of their comfort zone.

I wasn't sure if this was an idea that students in grades 6-8 would buy into, but I decided to give it a try. You never know unless you try, right?

Each new student was given a New Student Scavenger Hunt Card with all the key places/people in the school. Students were asked to visit these places in between classes or when they had a study hall period. Students introduced themselves to the key people and then asked him/her to punch their card.

Once students' New Student Scavenger Hunt cards were completed, they brought it back to me as a prize. The prize was pretty cool! We ordered printed drawstring backpacks with our school logo to give to the winners.  (You could order printed drawstring backpacks from a local screen printing shop or an online retailer like Custom Ink).

Before handing out the New Student Scavenger Hunt cards to students, I talked to all the key people students would be visiting and explained the process. I gave them each a paper punch to use to punch their spot on the card.

I created a Google Presentation of the New Student Scavenger Hunt Card so that you could edit and add your own school information.


Click on the image above for access to the Google Presentation. To edit the New Student Scavenger Hunt Card, go to File, then Save a Copy. You will then be able to edit the card and add your own information. I printed the New Student Scavenger Hunt Cards on white cardstock.

All in all, I felt the New Student Scavenger Hunt went pretty well. I had way more 6th and 7th graders complete their card than 8th graders. I still gave everyone a logo backpack in the end even if they didn't finish their card. I noted above that next time I do this, I may only gear this towards 6th graders. I think the New Student Scavenger Hunt would be something that elementary students would be really excited about doing.

How do you welcome new students who come after the school year starts?


Previous posts on Welcoming New Students:

New Student Scavenger Hunt: Welcoming New Students After The School Year Starts
Free Spirit Publishing Post: Supporting New Students Year Round
Welcoming New Students


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Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Connect with Danielle via emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.





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