Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by nstructor, Jun 27, 2011.
Jun 27, 2011
What do you do the first few weeks of school?
I jump right into the curriculum! I do spend time going over routines, procedures, and expectations, but I work that in with the instruction.
Jun 28, 2011
We usually start on a Thursday, so that's the day I do ice breakers, go over procedures and routines, and I assign the first homework (bring a book). The second day I start on instruction, do Reading Workshop, have students write a short personal narrative, and go over anything I missed on Day 1. The following week is a full week, so that's when I actually start with my regular class schedule.
We start with a half day, so we do many little activities this day. We start with an ice breaker (many of these students are really nervous). Then we move onto collecting supplies, organizing lockers (we used to have a day for this, but not anymore). We have a short assembly and then back to the classroom for some procedures.
I usually spend the second day reviewing procedures for about 30 minutes and then we start with the curriculum. No time to waste.
What ice-breakers do you do?
I start with expectations, other housekeeping and HW assignment (Supplies in by..., all signatures in by...) I'm not even sure I'm going to do much of an ice breaker this year.
Second day, I start in on curriculum - I'm giving a pop-quiz this year as a way to see what they remember about grammar, writing. It should also set a no-nonsense tone. The incoming class has two years of not great reputation, and with all we need to cover in 8th grade, I want them to know right off the bat that we are here to work. I'll let fun creep in as I get to know them better. Of course, every day for the first two weeks, I stamp planners to make sure they are copying HW down, do surprise fire drill practice, etc.
I spend 10 minutes on expectations.
Then I teach and assign homework.
The next day I check the homework, and continue to teach.
Day 3 begins with a quiz on what I taught day 1.
I've done various types:
1. I had a BB titled "Stepping into 8th Grade" (stole that idea from somewhere on the net). Every student received a footprint as they entered the room. They had to add pictures, words, whatever, that showed something about their personality, favorite color, team, sport, etc. They presented their foot to the class and then stapled it to the board.
2. Personality Bingo - each student had a sheet with squares containing questions such as favorite subject, favorite song, farthest they have traveled, ever been on a cruise, etc. They would put their answer in, and then they had a few minutes to roam around the class trying to see who else in the class had the same things. That person had to sign their name in the square.
3. I've started with a quick bio about me and then asked each student to think about themselves, and then share at least one thing about them with the class. This was a little intimidating for some. It was easy for me to see who would most likely want to be the center of attention in class.
4. Doing a long term sub with 6th graders, I did the toilet paper intro. I passed around a roll of toilet paper and told each child to take as many sheets as they wanted. Then when we started the activity, I told each child they had to count how many sheets they picked and they had to tell us that many things about themselves. There was much laughter. I also did it with animal cookies.
I've heard about one where each child picks an M&M of their favorite color. Then the teacher read off what their color choice might mean. Evidently it was fun.
Hope some of these help. You can also Google ice breakers. There is a plethora of ideas out there. Good luck!
I usually play a quick round of the student saying their name with a verb that begins with the same letter (Jumping Jack, Running Ryan, Diving Danny). At the end, I have volunteers try to name everyone and their verb. By the second day of school, I usually know 90% of their names.
Separate names with a comma.