HELP! what to do the first few minutes of school

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms_B, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Ms_B

    Ms_B Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    This is my first year teaching (4th grade) and I am wondering what you do the very first day, the moment the students walk in door. I know you teach behaviors and procedures the first week, school tour, routines etc, but I am wondering how do you start those first few moments together? The moment they walk in do you start laying down the expected procedures? I am having a hard time figuring out a schedule for the first day and I really want to start out on the right foot so the school year runs smoothly. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. :help:
     
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  3. Hollie123

    Hollie123 New Member

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    Aug 18, 2008

    I am always nervous the first day of school and I am starting my 7th year. I put the school issued information packets on the desks along with a bookmark and pencil with an eraser cap. I greet them at the door as they walk down the hall and let them know they can choose a seat and put their bookbags and materials on the coat hooks. When everyone is seated, I introduce myself and tell them a little about me - how long I've been teaching, pets, what I like, what i don't like (keep it light and funny). I then have them introduce themselves and have them tell me one fun thing they did over summer, 1 thing they like and 1 thing they don't like. This will get everyone to relax a little before you start with the tours, rules and expectations.
     
  4. LAH2

    LAH2 Companion

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    Aug 18, 2008

    When my students come in on the first day I have an activity on their desks for them to work on while everyone is still coming in and getting settled. After about 10 or 15 minutes I call them over to the rug and I introduce myself and then start talking to them about 2nd grade. Then we start discussing some of the rules and procedures of the class.
     
  5. Vievers

    Vievers Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    This is my first year teaching 4th grade as well!! Our first day of school was a week and a half ago and when the kids walked in with all their supplies,backpacks, and parents, we (I'm only teaching half time) had the students find their desk and start on a crossword puzzle that had all of the student names in it. After all the parents left, we started with attendance, finding out if everyone knew what they were doing for lunch, and finding out if everyone knew how they were getting home (this one is REALLY important so you can find out for the student ASAP). We then had students help us gather group supplies. Then with the left over supplies on their desk we discussed what could stay in the desk and where to put various items. After all of the craziness of putting things away, we introduced ourselves. At this point we did a classroom tour paired with expectations for useing various parts of the room and expecations of the students. Hopefully this helps!
     
  6. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Aug 18, 2008

    I always greet students at the door, show them where they can put their things, and where they can sit down. Something should be on their desk so they are busy...something like a crossword or a puzzle would be good for the first day. I agree with PP, you should definitely find out if everyone knows how they are getting home (even in 4th grade!), then introduce yourself and I would start with a "getting to know you game" or an ice-breaker of some sort. If you have a loose idea of how you want things to go, the day usually flows. Just make sure you have extra activities planned...you never know how long things are going to take!! Good luck! :)
     
  7. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008


    I'm curious! What activity do you have them do right away?
     
  8. Scout About

    Scout About Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    Today was my first day of school. The kids came in, unpacked, and got organized. On their desk was a wordsearch with the names of everyone in my class (puzzlemaker.com). That gave me a chance to speak to the parents and kids as they came in. In addition, they worked on their wordsearch when I was signing attendance cards and fussing with transportation stuff.
     
  9. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Aug 18, 2008

    I gave my kids 2 "all about me" sheets to fill out because they had to keep themselves busy for about 30 minutes while kids filed in.

    You will have a parent or 2 who may want to talk with you, and it is best to get the kids into the routine of coming in quietly and getting started on something.
     
  10. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    My problem this year is that I have had all of these students before, they all know each other and we have no desks! Any ideas?
     
  11. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    We all walk into our room together on the first day because we meet the kids outside in the front for a ceremony. WHen they come in the room I have them find their seat and put their backpack and supplies down there and then join me on the rug immediately for morning meeting. We talk about what meetings are, why we have meetings each morning and then we do a greeting to get to know each other a bit. I also have them do an activity like a song (usually Tony Chesnut)... this is first but you could start with some sort of morning meeting too. We then go back to our tables and they do some sort of easy coloring or math sheet or draw themselves on the first day of school while I collect the supplies they bring in.
     
  12. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Could you do a type of scavenger hunt where they find kids who did certain things over the summer. Create a game board on paper and then have them mingle to find kids who have done certain things and sign their name in the box. ie. Find someone who flew on a plane this summer. Find someone who went camping. Find someone who read________ Find someone who went swimming etc.
    This way, even though they know each other, they are interacting and finding out about each others summer.
     
  13. LAH2

    LAH2 Companion

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    Aug 18, 2008

    mdee-
    I usually have a picture on their desks that is an outline of a person (boy or girl). They have to color it in to look like themselves and then cut it out. I use the pictures for a bulletin board about our new class. This activity is good for 2nd grade on the first day of school because it doesn't require many directions as they are all getting settled.
     
  14. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Great idea Trayums...I have actually done this before but you are right! they would be finding out what they did over the summer. Yeah! I love it when a plan comes together!
     
  15. SouperTeach

    SouperTeach Companion

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    I am going to have them answer a few questions for me while I greet students and take attendance, etc. This is to set the tone for walking in and getting straight to work.
     
  16. Ms_B

    Ms_B Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    Hey everyone-I just wanted to say thank you for all the great ideas!
     
  17. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    I had a sheet of construction paper on their desk. They had to trace their hands, and on each finger, write a favorite....book, person, holiday, their birthday, and sign the thumb in their best writing. They then cut them out. It was and easy thing for them to do, and gave me time to shove the supplies out of the way, so that I could just do stuff with the kids. I asked for volunteers to share their hands with us. Later I stapled the hands as a boarder to the bulletin board. We did the Lucky charm thing. I had put cereal in a ziplock and we took out the marshmallows and talked about what each one meant. Then we figured out the number of days in school, using the calendar, the number of weeks and the number of hours. 4th graders loved this!! They thought it was really interesting. We moved from this to.....since we are spending so much time together, we need to establish some community rules. It just kind of flowed. I swear I was way more nervous than they were.
     
  18. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I love this idea! I'm using it if it's ok with you! Thanks for sharing! It will really keep them occupied with something so that I can take care of any last minute emergencies!! Those always seem to arise on the first day!
     
  19. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    This year I have a detective theme so the first thing my students will do is open their "Top Secret" folders and decipher the welcome letter I enclosed.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 18, 2008

    I give my students an activity that pairs them up, then I let them choose where they sit (they won't stay there for long). The directions are written on the board. I usually hang out in the hallway, listening until they have gotten settled, then I come in, and the very first thing we learn is an important tenet in Quantum Learning, that Everything Has A Purpose. Once they know that, we learn a series of hand gestures that they think is just for fun, but it actually corresponds with the multiple intelligences (eyes-visual, mouth-verbal, heart-intrapersonal, etc). It is set to music, and we get to dancing. This gets them up and moving right away, and sets a positive tone. Then we move on to other things, but we come back later in the afternoon and take a modality survey, which they begin to see corresponds with the dance they learned first thing. This really drives home the Everything Has a Purpose tenet.

    I love to do things that seem like just mindless fun, but really have a set purpose. I do this all the time in those first days, so it keeps the kids always thinking about what certain things mean.
     
  21. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    :D Me too!!!!!
     

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