Students arrive in the classroom and sit down. The syllabus is either passed out or projected on a screen and discussed, including required textbooks or materials. After about 45 minutes, the professor dismisses the class. In a studio art or design class, that means that roughly 2 hours worth of class time has just been wasted.
Any teacher who conducts their first day of class in this manner is missing out on a fantastic opportunity to get the students excited and invested in the course, and to get their brains engaged with all the possibilities that could unfold in the course of the quarter or semester.
While many professors do “icebreaker” or “getting-to-know” you exercises on the first day, why not do something that would immediately get their creative juices flowing? This document contains a number of ideas for first day of class activities.