I teach at a high school, but what Tom Jenkins said about starting the day off with a personality test is a great idea to get kids laugh at themselves. It's hilarious. I did the pig personality test with my freshmen and seniors. It's still fun with a group of teenagers.
I also began my first day of school with some fun puzzles. Usually jigsaw puzzles naturally get kids to work in partners/groups. I also have a set of Chinese wire puzzles. The objective is to pull apart two conjoined wires.
I hold off on the syllabus until the next week. I have a lot of kids filtering in and out during the first couple weeks of school. Once things get settled, I talk about the classroom norms/rules/procedures/...
hope this helps!
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I teach 8th grade STEM and only have my students for a 50 minute period.
I greet the students at the door.
Have the students find their desk and work on light prompt about themselves.
Once the students are situated and things calm down, I will review the safety procedures and provide a very brief overview of the class.
Have the students complete this fun, yet very informative personality test: http://thaoski.com/2013/04/02/5-minute-personality-test-lion-beaver-otter-golden-retriever/
We then share the prompt/personality test (who doesn't like to share) and it really sets a positive tone. Plus, it helps us learn about each other which will pay dividends on down the road.
I wait for the second day to get into rules, the syllabus, contact information etc. *Obviously if you are the homeroom teacher then you will have office paper work, etc to discuss/distribute.
Think through every step of your day...what do you expect from your students and what should they expect from you.
I teach my expectations from the first moment they walk into my classroom.
My most important routine that I begin within the first 30 minutes of being in my classroom is the classroom meeting. We have a classroom meeting everyday during the school year where we talk about our social skills for the week, things we need to work on as a class, and celebrations.
Here are routines that you will need to think about in a new classroom: how to enter/exit room, walking in hall, putting supplies away, storage of supplies, sharpening pencils, blowing nose, getting a drink, planners, restroom, centers, finding a partner, getting class attention, turning in work, what to do when you are done early, where to put work when you are not done, borrowing from the classroom library, working in a group, etc. These are just some ideas of routines that you are going to need to think through.
Teach EVERYTHING and do it very explicitly. Earlier I had a guest teacher visit my classroom and she asked, "How do your kids just know what to do?" My response, "I teach them everything...how to walk from their tables to the carpet. I talk them through it, I model it and then we practice until we can do it". My students giggled as they told our guest, "she even taught us how to blow our nose- we have to start in the corner of the Kleenex and fold it over" (my students were going through 10 Kleenex each time they blew their nose prior to this lesson).
Do I teach it all on the first day...NO, but I do get a lot covered in the first 1-3 days.
Hi Candi! I like to gauge students mindset around math the very first day! Here is my blog with more details:
I start the day off with finding out about my students. Its all about them. So I have them fill out Reading Interest Forms and we discuss some of their answers. I have an activity called all about me. They bring in a photo of themselves and talk about their favorite Tv shows, books, etc.
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