#2: First Day Game Plan (Back-to-School Countdown)

Editor’s Note: Find the full 10-Day Back-to-School Countdown here.

In This Vlog with Sarah Brown Wessling:

Today I’m wondering: What am I going to teach? Not the syllabus, not the rules, but teach. I’m wondering: What’s the learning purpose? I know there is a difference between the surface curriculum and the real curriculum. In other words: What we do on the first day will speak more powerfully to the culture of the classroom than anything I say.

Some of things I’ll be doing on the first day:

1. Choose not to talk about rules and routines.

2. Model a learning experience immediately.

3. Establish that we’ll be learning together.

4. Help them see that we’re going to capitalize on the natural struggles of learning, because that’s how we’ll learn to think.

Your Turn:

1. “Invisible” but deliberate goals permeate so much of the culture of a classroom. When and how do you choose to make these goals explicit to your learners? Please share your thoughts below.

2. Read our most recent #TchLIVE chat archive. It was all about building classroom culture.

Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. Connect with Sarah on Twitter – @SarahWessling.

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