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Friday, August 22, 2014

First Day of School Plans #mtbschallenge

 I want to join in the the #MTBoSchallenge even though I know I am a little behind. The first challenge was to write about your first week's plans. But for me as this blogging thing is still new to me so I will just write about my first day plans.
  In my middle school we work in teams for the core subjects. As a team we usually extend our homeroom so we can hand out paper work, assign lockers etc...  Once my bells begin as they will be shorter to account for the longer homeroom time so I will only have 40-45 minutes at most.
   I definitely will do my intro to Mrs. Olsen's world Power Point.

This slide is followed of pictures of previous students holding up whiteboards with things they think my  new students should know. They say things like show your work, ask questions, do your homework,  etc... Next I address where to hand in papers. Should papers be put on my desk? My reply is a bold:
This may be a slight exaggeration, but I stress to students that all papers go in the bell drawer!! If they do anything else and it gets lost its on them. I struggle with organization and having a bell drawer works great for me. I only take papers out of the drawer when I am checking or grading them.

  After this brief Power Point I hand out Play-doh to all students. I give them 5 minutes to make something that tells me one thing about them. During that time I walk around and talk with students. There is always one or two students that have no idea what to make, so I  help them brainstorm something. Letting them know it does not have to be any great thing, just something small. I love it because the students have fun with it and it gives me a glimpse of my students and their interests. One student last year made a horse head because they ride horses. Another student made a ball because they play soccer. This is a no pressure, just a have fun activity. I did this last year for the first time and really enjoyed it. I then walk around have students share what they made and why.
  I don't cover a lot on rule or routines the first day. I know the first day of school students are having rules thrown at them all day and they remember very little. I try to address the routines and rules over the next week. I used to get frustrated students did not remember the rules/routines that I explained the first day of school, then I got a clue.  I now realize the key to students following routines and class rules is repetition, repetition, repetition. I did this better last year and will work on it again this year. I get a little self conscious talking about rules and routines daily for the first week or two so I do not always keep it up as much as I should. (In the beginning of the year I sometimes feel like an awkward 7th grader myself).The review only lasts a few minutes at the beginning or end of bell done more like a game. I know it will pay off in the long run if I work on routines and have students practice them, in the beginning of the year. I also plan on revisiting the rules/routines at the end of each quarter. This is just as much for me as for the students. I want to make sure I am staying consistent with my students. 
   So that is my first day, and little of what I plan for the week. What are you planning for your first day? 
P.S This is my first time putting pictures in my blog. How'd I do?