First Day/Week of School - High School

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by EngTeacher15, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. ktmays06

    ktmays06 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2006

    I wanted to jump back to into activities for a minute. I did the T/F quiz with my reading students (8 of them), and they seemed to enjoy it, but with my larger classes I had them come into class and immediately start on a personal inventory. I found a great one at timesaversforteachers.com:
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~stevk/thisisme.pdf
    Its long, so even after 10 minutes they weren't done, but I got a lot of useful information from most students. Things like "what would you do if you could help in class" a few students said they would want to pass out materials (which I think is SO helpful to know ahead of time), and "what makes it difficult to learn" to which a bunch replied "too much noise." So I'm sold on this inventory. Hope this is helpful to anyone.
     
  2. bmault

    bmault Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2006

    I definitely like the idea of doing an inventory rather than a "game". You actually get something out of the inventory whereas the name game is kind of pointless.
     
  3. iteachlit

    iteachlit New Member

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    Aug 30, 2006

    Figuring out ways to connect with your students, and especially proving that they matter (like when you know their names), could never be pointless.
     
  4. MissENJ

    MissENJ Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2006

    Hi everyone! I'm a new teacher too. I'll be teaching 11th grade English (4 classes of Resource and 1 Inclusion class--I'm a Special Ed teacher), and I am SO nervous! I did my student teaching in a 9th grade Math class and taught 8th grade English for a summer program, so I have no experience with teaching 11th grade English. We start on Wednesday, and I *still* haven't been able to see the texbooks! I was told I would get them (even the teacher's edition) on the 1st day of school! I won't even get my class rosters until Tuesday, so I haven't been able to read IEP's yet either.

    I asked both the English department and the Special Services department for materials, and I was given an old textbook (that I will not be using), a HSPA review book (the state test that Juniors have to pass) and the curriculum for the school (which is not all that helpful....it's very basic and just has a list of books).

    I guess I'm lucky that my students will probably not know each other (the school has 2500 students), so I can spend the 1st day going over class rules and doing a getting to know you activity (which will be more for me, because I need to get to know these students!) and the 2nd day doing some kind of writing assessment. Next weekend is going to be FULL of PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 2, 2006

    Hi, and welcome. I'm HS math, so I can't help you with the particulars, but did want to add something: My school has 2,550 kids. By Junior year, the kids really DO know most of the other kids in their classes-- Sophomore year is a very social age, and the kids get to know quite a few other kids. So if you're going to do the get-to-know-you stuff, you may want to concentrate on more than just names. I don't do those activities, I'm sure someone can give you something more in depth.

    Take a look at the school's website and find out what they were assigned for summer reading-- that might be a place to start. Or hit the bookstore and get an SAT prep book and Xerox some of the reading comprehension or vocab sections-- Juniors usually take the SAT in May. It will buy you some time until you can figure out where to start.

    Good luck!
     
  6. MissENJ

    MissENJ Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2006

    Thanks!

    I went to this high school, and from my own experience, I think the students will know each other's faces, but not names and probably not anything about each other. We have a growing "neighborhood" problem (not gangs as of yet but getting close) and there will be a mix of neighborhoods in my classroom.....so I want to get the kids to realize they *do* have things in common.

    My district doesn't assign summer reading. The elementary schools tried it out one year, and hardly any students completed the assigned readings, so they tossed the idea. Also, our juniors don't take the SAT. They can register to take it if they choose to, but its not a requirement. Juniors do take the state tests in March though, and I was given the review book for that. I am going to take some things from there to use in the first few days of school until I can get the textbook lesson plans done.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2006
  7. shadowrose45

    shadowrose45 Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2006


    HI

    I'm teaching my first year of HS Spec. Ed. English. I'd love whatever material anyone has!

    I am teaching Night, Romeo and Juliet, Mockingbird, The Outsiders-- and several other books I can't remember at the moment.

    My kids have to pass 11th grade EOC SOL tests, so I need to make learning fun for them.

    For all my classes (9-12) I am spending the first week on study/research skills. I have an entire unit on it.

    I've found that most kids just don't really know how to study, how to take notes, etc. I think this will be beneficial to them for their other classes as well.

    I don't assign seats- so I do like the placard ideas for their desks. I have an awful memory- but I am going to require that they sit the same place every day, I think.

    First day jitters- I start Tuesday, in a brand spanking new school.
     
  8. MissENJ

    MissENJ Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006

    I love the idea of starting the year off with study/research skills! Did you get your unit ideas online? Are your students mixed grades or do you have different classes with different grades?

    I'm teaching all 11th grade and our focus is mainly works by Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes as well as reading The Crucible. That's what is in the curriculum anyway....who knows what will be in my student's Special Education textbooks (which is a problem to me...I know my student's can succeed using the general education text....but as a new teacher I am not going to complain). The curriculum embraces and focuses on cultural diversity, which is another thing that I hope my students will be able to benefit from. Our city is extremely diverse, and I'm glad that the curriculum recognizes that.

    I start Wednesday....25 minute periods all week, so no full days until next Monday, which makes the anticipation even worse for me! Good Luck!
     
  9. MissENJ

    MissENJ Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006

    One more question.....any ideas on how you're going to do your grading? I'm not planning on giving a lot of homework, so I'm thinking of making the homework only about 15-20%.

    Also, how do you plan on assessing your students in the beginning? I'm thinking of giving them a personal essay to see where their writing skills are.
     
  10. shadowrose45

    shadowrose45 Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006


    HI

    Not sure where you're at, but it seems like most high schools are using Prentice Hall Lit books. Go browse at Prentice Hall.

    For the first week, you might try a unit on study skills- how to research, that type of thing. That's what I'm doing- to give me time to do lesson plans for 4 grades- and because kids just plain don't know how to study.

    I am a special ed teacher, too, and going to be teaching 4 grades of HS English.

    I haven't seen IEP's yet, either. So, I'm going to wing it!

    Good luck!
     
  11. shadowrose45

    shadowrose45 Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006


    Hi

    We are only allowed to have homework as 10% of our grade. I'm doing an "About me" essay- with a graphic orgainizer for them to use, so I can see how they write, and learn a little about my students.
     
  12. shadowrose45

    shadowrose45 Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006

    HI

    My grades are self contained English, not mixed. We aren't using any special ed books, as these kids have to pass the same standardized tests the other kids have to pass.

    The study skills unit was online, and I just tweaked it a little bit. Do a search for "Study skills lesson plan" and it should pop up. Mine isn't on my home computer, it's at school already on my computer there.
     
  13. MissENJ

    MissENJ Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006

    My kids have to pass the same standardized tests too, yet we use Special Ed textbooks. That's another reason I oppose using the Special Ed. texts. My cooperating teacher fought last year to allow her students (9th grade Math) to use the 9th grade General Ed. texts, and they were very successful with it. In fact, they were ahead of some of the general ed. classes. She's been with the school over 15 years though, and they were skeptical allowing her to do it....so I'm not even going to attempt this year.

    Thanks, I'll check online!
     
  14. english9teach

    english9teach Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2006

    Here I am... another first year freshman English teacher. Our school started early so my first month is now behind me. I would love, love, love to share some lesson plans with anyone who want to, though.
     

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