First day of class

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by CheekyMonkey, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. CheekyMonkey

    CheekyMonkey Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2009

    :love:Hello. Newbie here. How do you set up the first day of class? What do you say to introduce yourself? Do you start right away with a lesson? Do you set up rules? As a high school teacher setting different rules for each class does that even work? How to establish authority and set the tone for good classroom management? Thanks for the info!
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Apr 6, 2009

    Hello, and welcome! I try not to overwhelm my students with rules the very first day - I teach all seniors, and I tell them they've been in school for twelve years, so they all know how they're expected to behave. I show a PowerPoint with highlights of what we'll be doing during the year. This past year I added in some Power Teaching and taught Class/Yes the first day and kept a scoreboard (go to the PT forum for info) which helped reinforce the idea that I'm serious about my class. What do you mean setting different rules for each class? Different grade levels? It shouldn't matter.

    Here's one thing I always do: I tape a small playing card on each desk, and as students come in I hand them another card. They go find the matching card and sit there. It prevents kids from settling in next to their friends, it's not alphabetical, and it's totally random.

    You've probably read Harry Wong - if you'd like another perspective, pick up Teaching Outside the Box.
     
  4. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Apr 6, 2009

    I tend to give them an "all about business" vibe on the first day and then loosen up later. It works well for me but I don't know what the students you'll be teaching are like.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 6, 2009

    I think the best thing you can do is go into the first day with a plan, whatever that plan is. Have all your stuff ready to go--syllabus, seating chart (or the random thing like Mrs. K does, which I think is super neat!), etc. Rehearse what you're going to say, if that makes you feel more comfortable.

    On our first 'real' day, i.e. the day after the actual first day of school where class periods are super short and just meant for signing in students, I show a very brief PowerPoint with my expectations and highlights from the syllabus/course expectations. I have students fill out an info sheet telling me about themselves, their family, and their learning styles. After that, we do some icebreaker activities.

    I always make sure that my room looks inviting and calm on the first day. I keep the overhead lights off and just use my big floor lamps. I have several live plants around the room. I play music (quietly) on the overhead speakers. It seems to set the kind of tone I want. I'm not sure if that's the kind of tone you want, but it's an idea.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2009

    I have "walk in" procedures projected on the board (I have this every day for the rest of the year).

    This year, they were instructed with the "walk in" to pick up a T/F quiz about me. While they complete it, I take roll and make the seating chart.

    We review the quiz as a way for them to learn about me.

    I have a PowerPoint with class procedures and syllabus highlights.
     
  7. CheekyMonkey

    CheekyMonkey Rookie

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    Apr 8, 2009

    thank you

    wow you guys have awsome ideas!!! thank you so much!!! :)
     
  8. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Apr 8, 2009

    I am in my second year of teaching. Last summer, I ordered a very helpful book from Amazon called, "The First Six Weeks of School". It's written by Paula Denton. I didn't follow it exactly, but I did follow it closely the first two weeks. Very, very helpful!

    To book contains so, so much: team-building games and activities/ how to present yourself to students/ rules/ how to introduce homework and assignments, etc...... It set the tone for this year, and my class and I have a respect for each other that WAS NOT there last year!
     
  9. CheekyMonkey

    CheekyMonkey Rookie

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    thank you so much. am going to get that book asap! :D
     
  10. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    Apr 10, 2009

    According to Harry Wong's book, The First Days of School, never start off with a lesson no matter what the grade level. Rules, Procedures, and Routines and the top priority of the first day.
     
  11. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Apr 11, 2009

    I teach elem school but I always start with getting to know u activities, rules and procedures, and an overview of things we will be learning. Gl!
     
  12. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2009

    This was my first day this year:
    Preclass: On a piece of paper, write down three words about yourself that start with the same letter as your first name. Then,
    have students read their three words. Then, have students crumple their papers and throw them at one another. After 30 seconds, each student will pick up one near them and find the person to whom it belongs. (10 minutes) - This is fun, gets them moving around and meeting each other. I got the idea from someone here and I really like it.

    Class rules scavenger hunt: With a copy of the syllabus, students will work in pairs to search for answers to questions about class. (15 minutes) - Rather than read the syllabus to them, I let them explore it. Then we go over answers and I emphasize important points.

    Fill out emergency contact form. (10 minutes) - I always do this the first day, when they're more likely to be honest and not give me a made-up phone number. We have online access to records but it's not always up-to-date, so I have them do a form just for my class. I ask for name, nickname, parents' information (names, ph. #s, email) and languages spoken at home, and the student's roster.

    If there's any time left we briefly discuss summer work. If I have received my class list in time, I will have the seating chart on the board when they come in and they can find their seats.

    Second day we start with everyone writing what they need to be successful in class this year. Then we discuss what they wrote and I write it up into norms. Norms are not the same as rules; norms are how we are going to behave and treat each other, whereas rules are, for example, "Only one person in the bathroom at a time" - those things we mostly discuss as we come to them, and those will be the same for every class. Although each class creates their own norms, they tend to come out pretty much the same. Hope that helps.
     

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