Back to school ! What are you doin the first week ?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 7, 2017

    Ok, so I thought it would be interesting to find out how everyone handles the first day, the week and first couple of weeks back to school, regardless of grade level.
    Please respond with your grade level and subject(s) for perspective :)

    Grade: high school (all 9-12)
    Subject: English

    1st day is minimum day, so it's 35 minutes classes (compared to 55 minutes). This day is really just there for the students to figure out their schedules, find their classes, get acquainted (and for our office to really figure out student enrollment, since some of our students go back to their regular schools and don't even tell us).
    On this day all I do is assign the seating chart and go over rules, procedure and expectations. At the beginning of the year I have a powerpoint and students take notes filling in blanks. After winterbreak I do it quicker, I have a questionnaire that students are supposed to answer (about rules, etc), but we do it together, going over everything they need to know.
    Day 2 and 3: they complete a diagnostic tests (a CAHSEE practice test) but it's not for grade, it's for effort (the grade is for me to know). I always feel that this sets the tone that we're going to get down to business.
    In these 2 days there is no interaction, just focusing on the test. Students are able to listen to music on their phone.

    Day 4 is Thursday. From that day and the following 1-2 weeks we're doing very short lessons, read biographies of famous people and answer questions, sometimes watch short videos, etc. I will focus on people who overcame incredible obstacles and / worked for a great cause: starting with MLK, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Cesar Chavez (and overall compare / contrast them), then Elie Wiesel, and finish up with a few more recent people.
    Then we'll start reading I Am Malala (overcame a great obstacle and is a great role model) and will probably read that for 2-3 months.
     
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  3. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jan 7, 2017

    Grades - 6-8
    Subject - social studies

    I continued with business as usual and pretended the break didn't really happen. I see the same students all year so no need for the beginning of the year procedures like you need to. We did a map of Egypt in 6th grade, notes on the history of the Middle East & North Africa in 7th grade, and projects about the first 6 Presidents in 8th grade.

    It's been interesting this year. Our schedule switched from marking periods to trimesters. Usually I would have to cram in my last bit of material before exams at the end of January. The snow days never helped. Now I feel very relaxed about the coming month, even with snow days. I know I'm not on a time-controlled schedule so I am not worried about getting things done by midterms. Also, I don't have to do report cards as often which is a HUGE win.
     
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  4. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grades 3-5
    Subject-ELL pull-out program

    I am kind of at loose ends right now. Before break the specialists met to reassess student needs in terms of text levels, literacy support, math support, etc. and groupings. The result was a rather large shake-up of my groups and students. Some of my students will be seeing a different ELL teacher at the same time, some of my same students are joining different groups, and I have acquired a few students I've not previously worked with. It almost feels like the beginning of the year, but it also doesn't because about half of my kids/groups are the same. This week we are going to talk about New Years Resolutions and review some skills. I also hope to get writing samples from my new-to-me students.
     
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  5. agdamity

    agdamity Enthusiast

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grade 5; self-contained

    We started back last week, and it was business as usual. I've found that jumping straight back into routine makes things go smoother.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grade 7--I'll be more or less back to routine, but it's going to be a bit choppy. I have 4 students who missed the last week before break and 2 who will be away this coming eek. I need to be out Tuesday afternoon for a post-op appointment and Thursday morning for a workshop. Here's the plan:
    Math--finish the geometry unit we started before Christmas
    Science--starting a new unit with lots of hands-on activities
    Literacy--oral portion of our persuasive unit; begin picture book unit
    History and Geography--continue with units started before the break
     
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  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Do any of you feel that what other teachers do might dictate what you do? or at least influence it?
    At my school the first day no one ever jumps right into teaching, and that actually makes sense, especially that this year it's a minimum day. But in the past, I went over expectations, rules, handed out folders, assigned seating charts and had to figure what to do for the other 20 minutes. I actually like this set up, no student could ever tell me they don't know what's expected of them, because we went over it the first day back.

    But I know that the 2nd and even 3rd day a lot of our teachers are not teaching. I don't know what they're doing. (I'm t least giving them a test and it has an academic purpose, but they're not doing academic related) Throughout the year, during a lot of minimum days a lot of teachers are not actually teaching anything, the last week of school they're actually done. I can't tell you how many times I heard students say "this is the only class we're actually doing something". It's so frustrating, because a lot of times I feel like I'm going against the flow, but I'm not going to dumb things down just because of others.
    This has been my number one frustration over the years. What I did was, I stuck to my ways, and after the 2nd year, students weren't complaining, they were simply stating the fact that they didn't do anything in other classes, and then did all my work, without whining or complaining. Consistency pays off. My P always said to keep holding to higher expectations and they will rise to them. She was right.
     
  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grade 4- self-contained
    Normal learning day.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    We went back on Wednesday. I gave them time to partner up to talk about their break so they didn't feel the need to talk during lessons. We went over our rules and procedures as a race, and I went over some things we are going to do this grading period. Then we got started on work.
     
  10. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Habitué

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grade: Preschool (3-5 year olds)

    We just have to jump right back into our normal routine!
    I can't believe the year is halfway over though. That's crazy
     
  11. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Habitué

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grade 1:
    We jumped into our regular schedule as well but we talked about making goals and what a resolution was. Students wrote about their goals for school, home, and to help others. Otherwise we reviewed all our classroom procedures.
     
  12. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Linguist - I definitely feel influenced by other teachers at my school. Thankfully at my school it is expected to teach as long as you have students in your class. We are more relaxed at the end of the year, but we still do academic tasks. Last year the students in my homeroom created a PowerPoint of a vacation they wanted to take. They figured out how they were going to get there, where they would stay, what they did every day, and how much it would cost. Totally fun for all of us and has multidisciplinary academic connections. In my partner teacher's room (she's ELA) they had book talks, watched some of the movies, and compared/contrasted the movies and books. totally fun and also academic.
    I have been in other schools similar to your situation. It's easy to just not teach bc it's inconvenient or throws a wrench into planning. I would not want to be known as a teacher who lets kids slack off on a regular basis.
     
  13. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Jan 8, 2017

    Grades 9-12 English

    My students are finishing up projects in most classes. For the ones who are done I will have them do an enrichment activity that goes along with our novel. By Tuesday/Wednesday we will do some prep for their final exams next week.
     
  14. Bioguru

    Bioguru Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2017

    High School Science:

    Chemistry will begin going over gas laws, one of my favorite units.

    Anatomy and Physiology will begin cat dissections to the excitement of some and dread of others.

    Biology will begin microorganisms, also one of my favorite topics.

    All in all a great week for me!
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Fanatic

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    Jan 9, 2017

    Me too, mostly. I did give them a break themed writing assignment, but other than that we followed our regular structure. My kids freak out when the normal routine isn't followed. Having a set schedule is easier on all of us. :)
     
  16. ms.irene

    ms.irene Devotee

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    Jan 11, 2017

    I started off my English classes with the Google Year in Search video and having students write their own "year in search" lists for 2016 and what they will be searching for in 2017.
     

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