|What is your Back To School Tip?||Twitter Handle|
|I like to use a plus/delta chart at the beginning of the school year. |
|Take the time to smell the roses! Listen - really - listen to the kids and enjoy the moment of the first few days. There will be plenty of time to catch up after the first few days. Get to know the kids, the staff, and parents. You can't turn back time no matter how we try.||techytammy|
|I am thinking of having my students introduce themselves via VoiceThread. It's something that my school is having the new faculty do, and it's a quick and easy way to introduce students to a (new?) technology tool.||montysays|
|Get Organized before school starts and try your very best to stay organized.||mseideman|
|Whtever you decide to do, over prepare. There is nothing worse than having down time in the first week of school. I think it gives the kids the idea that it is the norm to have extra timeat the end of class.||@KyleMcAllister|
|I share the 4 rules for my classroom (2 You wills and 2 I won'ts)|
1. You will Work Hard
2. You will Learn
3. I won't waste your time
4. I won't give up on you.
|I have my first day of school scripted out. I know exactly what I am doing, approximately how long it will take, and all activities are meaningful. No time-wasting games in my class! The first day is filled with procedures and classroom management techniques. All of these things lay the foundation for an organized, well managed classroom atmosphere that allows maximum learning time!|
|I try to learn students' names as quickly as possible.||Teacherkaz|
|I am trying something new this year...a resume activity...as in resuME, as a way of learning more about my students and, hopefully, helping them realize areas in which they need to grow this year to further develop their resumes. Here's a link to my lesson plan for the first day of school: http://eng11cafe.wikispaces.com/2011+-+1st+-+Day+1. Happy New School Year!||tgillmore|
|My students at JIS, Indonesia, always have a little feedback survey for the first night homework about their first day. Most returned on day 2 yesterday, mentioning the Bingo activity as the highlight of the day. In it there are boxes to fill with classmates names, enough for the whole class and a few extra.|
Statements like: "has lived in more than 3 countries," "has more brothers than I do," "has a pet," "has climbed a volcano, etc. They have to add the classmate's name and a detail,e.g. name of pet, volcano, number of brothers and so on. It requires students to ask questions and talk to each other, which is the object of the exercise.
|We did a back to school faculty meeting and watched this motivational video I created for our staff: http://pbjhspd.blogspot.com/p/presentations.html - Upon completion of the video, we all took the "pledge" to sign this banner: http://goo.gl/Jkxmc|
We will be hanging the banner near the main entrance for the duration of the school year for all students, parents and staff to see.
|Smile easiest thing to dofranze98||franze98|
|I teach third grade and the first week is all about establishing routines...with humor and lots of practice and role playing. How do I get my pencil? How do I pass in my paper? How do I use a tissue. (yes even that!) etc. I believe children feel safe and secure when they know exactly how to act in a classroom. It sets the tone for the year and we are all on the same page. As for humor~it keeps us all happy and sane :)||critchie17|
|I teach a the high school level. |
Make sure my expectations are clear to my students (Classroom Expectations handout).
Do some type of ice breaker... different with each class. That gives me something to associate with each student and also helps me remember their name.
Start learning the first day! I was given the advice by several other teachers to give homework the first day. It sets a precedent of sorts! :)
|Have students make name reflection (ICTM activity) and laminate for classroom wall. We reference|
|Have students make name reflection (ICTM activity) and laminate for classroom wall poster. We reference it often throughtout the year-- reflections,turns/degrees, axis etc.||@sdroyer|
|I teach middle school math to grade six students who are at our school for the first time since we're a 6-8 school. They love to know about their teachers, but also love to tell about themselves. The quicker I KNOW them as individuals, the better. I always take photos of them the first day which I use to learn names as quickly as I can. I also do a modified truth and lie activity that involves getting them out of their seats which is found here:|
"Kids might forget what you taught them, but they'll never forget how you made them feel." I always strive, the first couple days, to get to know each and every one of them.
|Let the students problem solve a teamwork activity. The must work together to solve a problem. For example, the human knot. This gains trust and shows the teacher stresses working together for the common good. Everyone participates and gets a chance to give input.||slind20|
|I teach middle school. I learned about this from a teacher I taught with. After doing a "get to know you" activity on the first day, I make the kids' first homework assignment actually for their parents! I ask the parents for information about their child (strengths, areas they might need help in, need-to-knows, etc.) I get valuable information from this and I often will call and follow up on what parents have written. I have received compliments from parents because they are able to let me know information that Infinite Campus does not have. The students also love going home and giving their parents homework!||MrsB_science|
|I like to spend time establishing a great classroom community through expectations and team building||@judyogee|
|Before school starts I look through all my new students cume folders to get background info from preK through middle school. I have a template that I developed that includes personal, family, and academic information. |
I personally set up and decorate a teacher work area that I will be using - this year my theme is "Hoo are you?" with many types if owls- famous movie owls and generic owls. I set up supplies for all my colleagues because inadvertently we forget something that we need or run out of while we are working.
This year I will take all my ASCD books and IT and E L magazines and put them on a to the book shelf in the work room. I put favorite quotes on the copier and refrigerator. This year I am using servant leadership quotes and Steven Anderson " Good Morning affirmations in EMails. I put together a ticket out the door for teachers to give students to help identify children who can be served by the Hearth Program.
For my students I will send a hello note to all parents followed up by a personal call after 5pm the first couple of weeks. We will do a Kagan get to know you activity as u begin to talk about social responsibility and character education.
The teachers will all be given a poster to post on their wall stating the schoolwide rules, and our positive token Paws buck- with a list if ideas in class rules that classes might adoPt for the class room that will coincide with our school wide rules, to Prepare to Learn, Act responsibly, work cooperatively, and show respect.
This year by the teacher boxes I will put a bucket and use the tools from to Fill a bucket to promote a positive climate - I am going to encourage my colleagues to join professional Learning communities with the many on line learning opportunities. My files will be organized because we will start the year running. I will continue to serve the scho community with a positive and understanding energy.
|Establish classroom agreements collectively|
|Make it your goal to memorize all names and one fact about each student by day 5. Kids are amazed that you care about THEM, not just the subject you teach.||Natcpat|
|At the end of the day, or half way thru, write one word about each student in your class in your grade book. If you can't, make it a point to interact with the students that you do not have a word for. THis is a good way to monitor if you have made a personal connection with everyone in the room. I change this to: Has the student had an "AH!" moment each week as the year continues.||SRSniderman|
|Don't dwell on what has been, always keep forward and never regret anything, life goes on and on :)|
|I always make sure my classroom is absolutely ready to go and is welcoming to the students. Then I stand at my door and greet each kid with a hearty good morning or good afternoon. If a student feels welcome on the very first day, the very first second, he or she enters my room, then the year gets off to a great start!||TchEngRox|
|First day goals: 1. start developing an atmosphere of mutual respect and 2. Let everyone know that they start this school year with a CLEAN SLATE--if you failed a class or made a poor behavioral choice last year, that's all gone. We start fresh.|
To develop an atmosphere of mutual respect, we do a couple of icebreaker activities http://www.residentassistant.com/games/icebreakers.htm has some good ones. I participate with the students. Never make them do something that you aren't willing to do yourself (that goes for assignments, too! Modeling is a powerful teaching tool.)
To let them know they have a clean slate this year: I tell them. "As of right now, you are an A student, you have no disciplinary record. It's a fresh start. Make the most of it." I sometimes hand out lyrics to the song "I Choose" by India Arie http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/indiaarie/ichoose.html and play it. The song lets kids know that they have a choice in how they behave and what they accomplish. They can choose to keep that A and that clean disciplinary record or they can make other choices--but it is up to them. THEY are responsible for the consequences of their choices and there are no excuses (can't blame parents, friends, or situations...YOU make the choices for yourself.)
Lastly, here's a helpful pearl of wisdom from my cooperative teacher when I student taught almost 20 years ago: straighten up your desk at the end of every day so that when you come in the next day, you don't feel so overwhelmed. (This has helped me immensely!)
|I'm setting the tone on the first day by using visual thinking exercises (http://bit.ly/rfPjaM) to help the students explore my classroom and get to know me.||@Philip_Cummings|
|I have students create an agenda with any questions or ideas they have about the running of the class, routines, etc. and then the Friday of the first week back we have the first of our monthly class meetings (student run). At this meeting we sit in a circle and decide on things such as the class 'rules' (we don't call them that). We also go through each item on the agenda. Great for so many reasons!||@erringreg|
|I always start with a GREAT read aloud and last year I ended the day with one. After reading Rhyming Dust Bunnies to my first graders (which is hilarious), I gifted every first graders with a copy and told them it was their homework for the night...to reread it via pictures, text, or both. It got us started as a community of readers and began the expectation that we would revisit books and that everyone could experience reading for pleasure at home.||lorilovesbooks|
|I love meeting the kids at the front of the school as they come in off the busses. It is a great way to reconnect with them after the summer.||wmchamberlain|
|Music. Loud. As they walk in. Whatever <i>I</i> like at the moment. Beethoven, Ramones, no matter--it's my room, passions matter, and the kids respond to that.||BHS_Doyle|
|We like to start the year with team building exercises. We want the students to think of themselves from day 1 as a team who has to work together to accomplish tasks. We've found this works really well and sets the stage for collaboration the rest of the year.||@mricheynams|
|I always play a back to school scavenger hunt that involves the students writing responses to set questions and then having to find other students with the same or similar information. Its a great getting to know you activity especially for newbies and then I use that information as a basis for my student profile.||katetodd777|
|I'm spending 1 week getting to know students, making sure they know each other and building a community within the classroom. Embedded in this will be time management, organization, study skills and social skills thru some basic PBL type of student, co-learner style instruction.|
By getting to know them first...as people....I should be better at getting them involved in the content when I start it at the end of the first week. I can better differentiate if I know the learners.
|Be a little quirky. Try to remember how nervous you were as an awkward teenager and start building relationships right away. I like to start dissecting a poem that gets the students thinking and laughing (like WCWilliams' "I ate the plums that were in the icebox").||@zgporter|
|I like to start the fourth grade year off with a classmate scavenger hunt. I make a list of different qualities that cover lots of different areas (likes the Phillies, takes dance lessons, plays an instrument, can juggle, etc.) and the students have to circulate around the room until they find someone for each item on the list. When they find a classmate who fits that quality, that classmate signs the paper next to that quality. I usually put a limit on how many times the same classmate can sign a person's paper, and I will adjust this if it turns out to be necessary. This activity reinforces the idea that everybody has qualities that make them important and special - and believe me, when they find that special person who fits that rare quality (likes lima beans, reads the newspaper) that person instantly becomes important while everybody gets him or her to sign their papers. It also helps the kids and ME get to know more about the students in our class. If I can remember back to this activity, I will throw some of those students' special qualities into vocabulary sentences or conversations throughout the year. It's a great ice breaker and a great way for everyone to get to know each other.||kschegan|
|Wear a tie. Use assigned seats. Greet at the door. Smile.||glennonpoirier|
|I think every teacher and student is nervous at the start of the school year. I found that the best way to start the school year was to get to know my students. I taught high school computer science, so I also needed to know a little about their comfort with the computer. Our first assignment was to create a PowerPoint (or another type of presentation) that described them. The presentation must have a few criteria: name, age, grade, hobbies/interests, what they want to be when they grow up, etc. I showed the students my "Getting to Know You" PowerPoint, in which I told them about my qualifications and teaching experience, my hobbies, and my goals. After a day or so of work, the students gave a quick presentation using their PowerPoint, and in the process, we all got to know each other, discovered common interests, and set the stage for a year of sharing and learning together.||digitallearners|
|Have students fill out a "getting to know you" questionnaire that includes their hobbies, interests, activities, favorites, etc. It give you a way to get to know your students and make connections with things outside the classroom.||@chaosbykelly|
|I freak them out and give a quiz the first day of school. A quiz about ME! It's a multiple choice quiz, and they have to guess at my favorite color, candy, how many kids I have, pets, what I'm afraid of, my favorite hobby, etc. Some know a few answers from having older siblings that had me, but most just have fun guessing. We go over it together, and I tell some personal stories about my answers. They end up feeling like they know a lot of important things about me as we start the year. If nothing else, they know to bring me all their extra Baby Ruth bars at Halloween! ;)||@pattigrayson|
|I hand out one questionaire on which these info I am asking for: name, what languages they know and what level? What were their marks in French last year? Some French questions to see where are they standing? I explain to them clearly that this is confidential and it is just for me to know them better and if they feel they don't want to fill it up that's ok! I just need the name . |
This form helps me for seating plan and also knowing a bit about them.
BTW I teach grade 7&8 French Core
|Focus on the students. I have a 6th grade homeroom, and they are all a bit anxious, excited, nervous, and concerned when starting middle school. I need to be the rock, reassuring, and open. |
It's going to be tough this year, with the bad morale with teachers. I'm in a private school that has lost significant enrollment due to the economy. Several teachers were made part time, and are not very happy about it. I'm trying not to get sucked in, by focusing on the students.
|PRAY continually, but I also make sure I am prepared to teach the procedures I want my students to follow and have adequate time to practice, practice, practice!||ninapeery|
|I cannot get through the first week of school without having an idea of what I want to be doing the week before Christmas...I ALWAYS over plan. I have now hit double digits in uears' experience, and I just made my sixth move...ever on to better teaching opportunities, and I've learned that hectic can be handled easily...as long as there is a plan!||@rachael_couch|
|Teach 8th grade so try to connect their world w how it relates to world Geography. Also get them sharing on GDocs right away. Positive energy is key||kconners009|
|Teach 8th grade so try to connect their world w how it relates to world Geography. Also get them sharing on GDocs right away. Positive energy is key||kconners09|
|Spend the time learning about your students.||#MarkZiebarth|
|Begin by having the kids sit in a circle and give out large picture cards of items such as an apple, a book, TV, or bike. The students pick the card that they can relate, too. For example, ice cream. Then they introduce themselves and explain why they chose the picture. Meanwhile, the teacher should try to remember each student's name while connecting it to the picture. Then the teacher recalls each child's name in the circle and challenges others to do the same. After that activity, talk about your goals, procedures, and routines, etc.||idel918|
|Begin with a poem such as George Ella Lyon's, "Where I'm From" to invite students to begin creating a community of readers and writers. Write your own "Where I'm From" poem, and ask students to write theirs as well. This idea comes from Penny Kittle's Write Beside Them. |
|Save the rules and procedures speech for later. Instead, do a meaningful grouping activity that's on topic. As a biology teacher, we make nutrient agar plates and plan the experiment. (along with a hook of course)||bio_bward|
|Set the tone for grade 7/8's - start the work immediately - let them sit down - open the duotang at their seat - and start - in core french it will be a play - choose some to read part of it, reward actors with treats, play a game - one student from each group at blackboard (spell words), treats for winning team.|
No time delays!
|Don't waste the first day with the same boring syllabi discussion. Choose your most engaging activity and get the learners excited to come back tomorrow.||ogdshane|
|I teach in the early years in Queensland in Australia. At the start of a year I ensure the students know that the classroom is a space that belongs to every. I have plenty of hands on activities out and about incase parents want to discuss things or if individual students are having difficulty. We have 3 common rules in our school, so discussions about rules, consequences and expectations begin straight away. I always ensure that students are busy with productive work, and that appropriate behaviour is praised and encouraged and inappropriate behavior is dealt with||llawr8|
|I teach seniors (AP to General). On the first day I read them "Oh the Places You'll Go" by my favorite philosopher, Dr. Seuss. Then I ask them to write a response for bonus points that asks them to consider why I would read this to them on the first day of their senior year. Now matter how much smirking or eye-rolling occurs at the mention of Dr. Seuss, you can hear a pin drop in the room shortly after I get started. Students enjoy revisiting a childhood memory and bonus is a jump start that everyone appreciates!||trixie201|
|The best way to engage students and get them excited, which kicks the year off right, is to hit a home run on Day 1. What's amazingly easy but shocks many teachers is my advice to throw out rules and consequences. Don't even talk about expectations. Your students will get this boring list of rules and expectations all day; it sucks the life out of learning. Instead, tell them there are no rules. They are here to learn. Tell them your class is built on mutual respect, choice, collaboration and fun. Of course, if your class is not built on these things, you may have to make other changes. Get them talking about what they want to learn, how they want to learn it. Take the pressure off. If they leave saying, "Wow, I think I'm going to like this class," then you've done well.||@markbarnes19|
|To promote a sense of belonging, definitely a getting-to-know you ice-breaker.||@NoelineL|
|I think organization is the key to starting the year off right. I make sure I know what tools I am going to use to house our projects, organize our classroom, and conduct online discussions. I have my units laid out and my desired end result in sight.||danielle6849|
|Something I'm going to try this year is having students prepare a short video clip explaining what they want to gain out of coming to our school and how they think they can achieve that. We'll see how it goes.||WPrettyman|
|Focus! I haven't been incredibly successful in the past, but this is my goal.||kecplace|
|I ask the students what they want skills and/or knowledge they want to learn this year based on what their grade is. I also ask them to explain how they will achieve that goal (I will try my best is not a valid answer!) (I have an academic intervention position and work in small groups of 8 or less). It a good way of estimating students verbal and listening skills.||7oneeight|
|Get enough sleep so you can laugh with your students||pernilleripp|
|I play get to know you games with the kids and read them a book. I usually do an art activity about who they are the first week so that they can get to know each other and I can get to know them better as well.||emcurnew|
|Plan, plan, plan then plan some more ||Tracytheteacher|
|Improve your skills each day and think about how you can do things more effectively.||Scipio_Pater|
|I show the youtube video of two people "trapped" on a stuck escalator and ask the kids how that relates to education.|
|I try to get students focused on the course content right away. I use an ice breaker activity also gets students to reflect on their prior experience with the course material and establish a positive attitude toward what's ahead. |
I typically use a <a href="http://www.you-can-teach-writing.com/writing-points-200908.html#story1"> "I'm a writer" activity </a> for this. Teachers can adapt it to <a href="http://blog.you-can-teach-writing.com/2011/08/dont-break-ice-melt-resistance.html">other disciplines</a>.
|Mainly for a group which starts after JUly break in Brzil (2nd sem), as they ususally know each other and have been studying 2gether 4 at least 1 sem, I hand out small pieces of paper where they are supposed to write three things about themselves: I can... / I like... / I 've already..., etc. (using CAPS so that people don't guess who the author is from the handwriting)|
After that , I collect the papers and give them out again at random.
Ss then are supposed to work in pairs/trios so as to guess who wrote that.
Then, we have each st telling the group who is the pérson who wrote the sentences they've got and why.
|On the first day of school I gather my kids outside on the creative playground for a group shot on the slide/minkey bars. Then each student has to pose for an up close portrait shot (either hanging on the monkey bars, on the slide, or just sitting on a bench...their choice). That night I make an 8x10 of the group shot and put it in a picture frame to place in the classroom. I also post a 5x7 at the classroom door plus post their portraits by their coat hooks. It's a fabulous community builder because they love seeing themselves and each other. There are lots of positive comments shared and parents love it too on open house night. I then redo the photos when it snows and the kids are in winter gear and then once more when spring comes!||MrsMcV|
|This will be my fifth year of teaching. I have only taught in elementary schools with high ELL populations, which generally correlates with low socioeconomic backgrounds, low levels of education, and varying family situations. Many of my parents have not had pleasant experiences with their own schooling and few ever made it past elementary school. My students' own educational futures are never guaranteed. No matter their circumstances, I love to let each student know that they matter and that they too can one day graduate. What better way for them to actually see that than to put an actual cap and gown on and take a picture? We've all got at least one hanging in a closet somewhere anyway... This visual representation of their possible future goes far beyond playing dress up. Rather, students create a memory and something in which to attain for themselves.||Mrskmpeters|
|I teach elementary school. |
I like to send out 'Welcome to Kindergarten' post cards addressed to our learners.
I also find that making scheduled home visits helps the little ones adjust better; it gives them an opportunity to meet the teacher on their own turf!
|For administrators, hyper-plan and schedule as much as possible, right down to observations with pre- and post-conferences, assemblies, picture day schedule, school safety drills. We all know you need to be flexible and sometimes plans have to be tweaked, but as much as you can plan now when it's the calm before the storm, that fifth grader who is sent to your office for shooting ketchup out of the packet to a classmate won't throw you off as much as he might if he was sent when you're in the middle of one of your managerial tasks. Plan now, double- and triple- check.||SCOTTDAVIES|
|Never go to the teachers lounge.||lp|
|I'm an elementary-school tech integration specialist. To start the year right, I begin with orientation on how to use technology productively in school; i.e. how to login, where to save/open work, where to print, etc. I also discuss acceptable use guidelines and appropriate behaviors in the labs or when using mobile devices such as laptops or cameras, etc.||@SamRan|
|Don't be afraid to ask your PLN for assistance and collaborate with your students as you develop a classroom syllabus and/or policy.||dmantz7|
|My priority when starting a new course is that students feel comfortable in class. However, I do not have a magic solution that can apply to any situation. |
I am secondary school teacher and I teach students ranging in age from 11 to 18 years; sometimes I teach groups of students I’ve already met in previous school years, others are new, especially the youngest, who are normally newcomers; besides, the group size is another criterion to be taken into account. So, the way to approach them and encourage them in the beginning of the new course may differ considerably.
What really matters is that they’re not afraid to participate in class to express their ideas and opinions and they feel confident to speak in public from the very beginning. Therefore, starting with small talk and casual conversation in which everyone has something to say is always a good idea. But, watch out, when working with teens, one should also bear in mind respect is key to classroom management – so, coming up with a laid-back atmosphere is as important as not letting things get out of control.
Some of the techniques that have worked for me over the years have been:
- Brainstorming, using a slide, a drawing or just a word on the board (what really matters is not what they say but the fact that they say something)
- Introductions: students introduce themselves and then I make a round of questions in which the kids try to recall the information provided by each one, eg "who is the youngest?" “how many of you have a dog? ", “what is Elena’s favourite colour?” etc.. This technique is suitable for younger students.
- Talk about their expectations for the new course.
- If you have a feeling they will be responsive, why no trying to introduce yourself by mime, rather than words?
Long ago, when I started teaching, the first time I came into the classroom, I decided to sit at a student’s desk and pretend I was another classmate (I could do this because I was more or less the age of the people in the group). We spent almost the whole hour “waiting” for the new teacher to turn up. I could talk peer to peer with almost all of them – we even joked about how irresponsible it’d been of the new teacher not to tell us he/she wouldn’t come to class. Some minutes before the bell rang, I approached the teacher’s desk and announced I was the new language teacher. Of course, nobody believed me and I had to wait until the following day to start a proper lesson. However, the joke was worth it as we all got to feel really relaxed in class from the very beginning.
|My goal is that students leave class successfully after the first day. I teach Spanish. Many kids walk in the door thinking Spanish is hard and that they are "bad at it". I use the first day to start to change that impression. We'll laugh, sing, chat, act, and play. Hopefully they'll forget about learning Spanish and want to come back the next day.||@lesliedavison|
|This year, I had each of my kids create a video using Animoto. Then, we will play it on the first day. We will also decide what a "quality" kid looks like. Finally, we will write a song about quality kids to sing all year long, reminding kids what they said a quality kids should look like. Here is an example of one of my student videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aunkswdt1Iw||amymcordova|
|Pray like crazy!||pressn4truth|
|i send home a questionnaire to my little ones' parents. very simple. |
"tell me about your child in a million words or less."
parents love to tell about their kids and all of it is so helpful. i reread them throughout the year.
|I rocked out to music as students entered my classroom. As they came in, they looked at me kind of funny but I saw their heads bobbing and feet tapping to the beat. Other studens peeked into my room as well like "what is going on in there? I wanna be|
in there!" We then play 20 questions where the students get to ask me any 20 questions they have to learn about me. My only rule is that I can decline to answer (if inappropriate). I then have the students interview each other in pairs and present their partners to the class. We establish some immediate connections & begin that trust relationship to allow for learning.
|This year I am using book suggestions from my PLN, so many great people to learn from.||capecodlibrary|
|I like to start the first day in math class playing a game. After intros, rules, etc., I like to play 21 with the students. Junior high and high school students both have enjoyed this game in the past. A student and myself agree to play and I usually let the student decide who starts. The rules are that you can count one number or two numbers and then it is the other persons turn to do the same. The player who says 21 is the winner. We play several times and the students start to figure out that there are certain numbers that are "key" numbers. Students start to figure out the pattern. Great way to show that this math class may be a little different than they are used to. Later in the six weeks we will try it again and most of them will pick up on the patterns. We then will work on revamping the game to end on other numbers and let students figure out what "key" numbers they now have to hit.||McLain35|
|The Candy Game! Each child picks enough candy to answer questions. The children have to wait for everyone to answer their questions and have to really think about their answers for each question. The funny thing is watching the children answer questions about themselves.||cocokar|
|Make each student their own page of labels so they can label all their notebooks and folders, etc. the first day. They can save the extras for projects and assignments throughout the year.||@jones_dana|
|Set the learning tone of the class. I spend the first week really discussing and building the norms, values, expectations and atmosphere of the class. How will we deal with conflicts? What is my responsibility as the educator? What is the responsibility of the students? What type of class do we want to experience throughout the year. It takes up a lot of time but boy is it worth it! A community of learners, thinkers and feelers is created!|
|Find out what makes each student tick by asking them. Find out what do they want to learn. Assess for reinforcement desires, learning styles, interests, and share the same about me. Do team building games. Discuss the standards for each subject and let students vote on what they want to learn first.||@shaughntwits|
|I'm a Chemistry teacher. I always start the year with a bang - literally and figuratively - a great starting demo gets them excited for the coming year.||awesomescience|
|Tell all my students that they are capable of achieving an A in my subject and that my goal is to make sure they get one.. Set the bar high and keep it there. So many kids will appreciate your beliefnon their ability that they will give you more in return.||dandt_matt|
|Plan - Get a head start - Have your room ready to go at least three days prior to the start of school|
Be Well Rested
Be energetic, yet not over the top, when greeting your students
Be clear in your expectations
Don't overwhelm yourself with too many classroom rules
|Over prepare, over prepare, over prepare. There is nothing worse than hearing crickets on the first day!||MrTwitker|
|A very simple activity is to start with the importance of each student learning the names of others in their homeroom. At my middle school despite seeing each other all the time, most don't know the names of kids in their class. The students moan a little bit at this activity, but it is amazing at how quickly it works for them and for myself. |
Sit in a circle and each student has to state their name along with a word that starts with the same letter. For example, my name is Aaron. I could state Aardvark Aaron. We go around the circle repeating the names before us and stating our own. The next day we mix up our circle and do it again. It helps to lighten the mood.
|Have high expectations for the new year, bur remember that flexibility is essential. Oh, and lots of chocolate in your drawer!||bridgetbaill|
|Plan something new for my students early in the year that I'm personally excited and enthusiastic about. It's better than 10 cups of coffee for a burst of back to school good energy. This year it's a Skype visit from a very funny author. I can't wait!||@bethredford|
|I have the students share their summer assignment designed to tell us about them. This summer's assignment was "joy" and they had to create a multimedia artifact of their choice sharing the things that bring them joy. It was an awesome way to start the year with each person receiving validation from me and the others and sharing accomplishments and news.||coolcatteacher|
|This year I'm using a Wallwisher in each of my Computer Education classes to have the students tell me what they know and what they want to know about computers. ...hopefully, it will be a great conversation starter, as well as a way for me to get to know my kids, quickly!! ...should be fun!||foes4sports|
|I send a welcome letter to my students and include a questionaire for the parents to fill out so I can learn as much as possible about each child before school begins. We have a Meet and Greet two days before school actually begins. I have a scavenger hunt to complete to find all the important areas of the room. I also have a welcome letter on each child's desk written by last year's second graders. There are sign-up sheets for holiday parties, volunteer opportunities and transportation instructions. My students enjoy the treasure hunt that I have them do on the first day of school. There are about a dozen rhyming clues and the last clue takes them to the cafeteria for ice cream bars.||@coatsea|
|I just finished the B.Ed program at UBC, so I don't have much experience - but I have heard some great ideas from professors, colleagues, and guest speakers. One that jumps out at me is to start each class with an open-ended assignment and/or question(s) to ponder written on the board, and then to have students complete their work in class, in groups. Absolutely no homework should be assigned for the first few weeks (if ever - unless it's meaningful), and marks should be easy to obtain.||dbyrks|
|As a high school writing teacher, I try to get students writing the first day as well as starting to build a classroom community. Students need to sample what the class is like from the first day!|
I pair them up and get them to interview each other, then write a brief introduction of the other person. (I don't let them necessarily interview the person they chose to sit next to but try to guarantee that there is some newness to this activity, meeting people they don't know.) It's a way to get everyone talking the first day. Depending on the class/atmosphere, we may start by coming up with some interesting interview questions that go beyond the "favorite food/music/etc." kind of question. This activity helps the new students learn at least one other name. I see the writing ability (and challenges) of the class without having to grade anything. And best of all, I learn a lot about the whole class relatively quickly.
If the class time is long enough, or the class is small enough, I may also ask them to introduce the person they interviewed in 3-4 sentences. This gives me a chance to quickly assess speaking skills.
When I'm teaching with a computer available for each student, they write on the computer. Otherwise it's by hand.
In the last five minutes, I ask them to exchange email addresses/phone numbers with at least five others in the class so they can follow up with writing questions outside of class. Again, for new kids (or freshman class) this becomes a valuable way to start to build a sense of community.
If the class is really large, I may group two pairs so each student is introduced to three others. If we are going to work over each other's writing during the semester, we need to get to know each other quickly. This sets the tone for an active classroom where students are participating, not listening to the teacher for most of the time.
The first homework assignment is due one week after the first day of class: show me your public library card. That allows me to expand the resources of the school greatly!
|Here is my Photo Peach "quiz", Getting to Know Mrs.Mims|
I posted it on Kidblog. It will serve as their introduction to Kidblog as well.
|Short and sweet. On day one start telling your kids that they are the most interesting and intelligent group you've ever had. Kids tend to live up to your expectations.||carolineraville|
|To start the school with :|
1) getting to know them really well at the beginning of the term by talking to them and asking them more questions about themselves. Kowling there likes and dislikes. sometimes i find that i know them really well byy the thrird term!!
2) set all the rules and adhere to them unless they come up with a better one. then learning will be so much eaier!
naini singh, AKA.Hyderabad