What are you doing with your students the first few days of school?

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by TennisPlayer, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Jul 29, 2008

    I'm a new teacher and so far I've heard I need to give students the DRA and a math test. I know I will be going over procedures too. Do I just make "busy work" packets for the first few days that they can mainly do on their own and then get into the regular lessons for the first full week ?
     
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  3. kelizr

    kelizr Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2008

    Thats a good question. I'm curious about the same things. I have started planning lessons, but I don't know if I should do other things instead? Packets are a possibility. What about doing some games that maybe fit in with some of your first units?
     
  4. carolie

    carolie Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2008

    off the top of my head

    Without going to get my plan book...

    We actually start on a Monday now, but we used to start on Wednesday or Thursday. Hasn't changed what I do much.

    I start assessments on the second or third day: fluency/comprehension, sight words, spelling inventory, math beginning of year test, addition/subtraction facts, writing sample. NOT all at once.

    We do lots of class procedures, and this takes lots of time (again, we do it over several days). We do a quick school tour on the first day. We play a couple of getting-to-know-you games on the first day. We make our class rules (this takes about 3 days). We do a couple of projects that let them share their personal information: family, hobbies, etc. We talk about our expectations and fears of third grade. We begin practicing our silent reading routine. We begin taking pictures for a power point presentation I do at back-to-school night. We learn how to use our planners. Everything takes forever to do for the first few weeks!

    That's about all I can think of at the moment.
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2008

    Wow. I only start assessing like, wednesday of the second week!! I spend the WHOLE first week on procedures and getting the kids able to work independently so I CAN do running records and things like that!
     
  6. Mr. & Mrs.D

    Mr. & Mrs.D Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2008

    I like to do my assessments the second week because I think the kids aren't as nervous or shy. I have a packet w/mixed review skills that the kids work on in sort spurts. I also go over procedures alot! I'm going to work on reviewing comprehension strategies using a unit on Miss Nelson is Missing.
     
  7. IndyJo

    IndyJo Companion

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    Jul 30, 2008

    I do a lot of getting to know you stuff the first day of school, coupled with rules, routines, organizing desks - time zooms! I will meet with each student to do a timed reading to assess phonics, fluency, and comprehension. I will also meet with each student to have them do two math problems. Then, I will meet with each student to talk with them about school, goals, etc. There will be a couple of writing prompts, too.
     
  8. Mrs.Mom

    Mrs.Mom Companion

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    Aug 1, 2008

    Couple questions, first where do you get assessments for all of these things? Is that all included in your curriculum? I'm going to 3rd grade for the first time in a 1 section school...I hope there is someone there to help me out!!!!:woot:

    Next, curious how you MAKE your class rules?:thanks:
     
  9. Mrs_T

    Mrs_T Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2008

    I like to do a lot of review of late 2nd grade concepts and skills, while we are getting to know each other and relearning how to listen, control our blurting, be respectful , etc. When they are reasonably comfortable, within a week I test 'em to get a genuine benchmark before their third grade instruction begins, thus showing the maximum growth.
     
  10. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2008

    The first week, I spend a lot of time with procedures and observing the students. I want to see how well the work independently and teach them to be even more independent by practicing the procedures. I keep my behavior expectations high.

    As far instruction, I do an abbreviated version of the "First 20 days of Reading," (discussing good reading strategies, how to choose books, readers response, etc.) and the "First 20 days of writing." (types of writing, generating topics of their notebooks, first unassisted writing piece, etc.). I do a variety of quick assessments (Dibels, NAMES) and try and hear each student read to me for a short period -- yes, I could look at their running record but hearing it for myself is even more helpful.

    For math, we focus on gathering, analyzing, and displaying data in graphs. We start with bar graphs and move to pictographs, line graphs, pie charts. I also do timed addition facts quizzes.

    Social studies: we start with how to be a good citizen. This lends its hand well to observing and practicing rules and why they are important. Even social skills lessons are great (I've done a few on tattling and how to deal with bullying). This way we start the year early with how to deal with such things.

    There isn't much busy work --- unless you call review-type activities 'busy work.' This is just for the first 2 weeks.

    This is only my second year of teaching, so there may be better ways, but I am quite pleased with the beginning of my school year (I teach at a year round so my first day of school was July 7th :wow:) Don't forget to ask your teammates too!

    Good luck and have fun learning what works for you!
     
  11. daizie75

    daizie75 Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2008

    I also do a lot of building a community activities - mystery bags (give each kid a paper bag and they bring in 5 things that tell something about them), class quilts, find someone who... bingo). In social studies we begin our unit on being a good citizen.

    The first day we take a tour of import places in the school, organize all our supplies, our desks, and our HAWK (like MOOSE) binders. We being procedures for unpacking, morning routines, using supplies, walking in the hallway, behavior in the cafeteria, using the restroom etc.....

    I teach them about class library and silent reading routines. I will start my DRAs.

    In math we will start pre-testing and reviewing place value concepts as well as procedures for learning manipulatives.
     
  12. carolie

    carolie Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2008

    Mrs. Mom:
    Some assessments (reading/math) come with our curriculum. Others I've just gathered in various places. I used to teach at a Title I school that had a lot more assessments required than I do now, and I hung on to them (like the spelling inventory). Lots of "veteran" teachers have that stuff around... Try asking!

    As far as class rules: We brainstorm all the things we want as rules in our class. The kids come up with a lot of "don't"s... Don't talk, don't run, don't hit, don't pick your nose, etc. I write it all down. I also encourage them to remember their class rules from the previous year.
    Another session... We narrow things down. We try to see what's redundant. We try to consolidate: How could we say "don't hit, don't poke, don't X, Y, or Z" as one rule? How could we say it in a positive way?
    Third... I steer them around to basic rules, which usually (but not always) include treating others with respect, speaking when it's your turn, keep hands/feet/"stuff" to yourself, be prepared, try your best, etc. The wording changes each year because I ask them how they want to word it.
    I write it up neatly on a big paper and all the kids sign it. Usually I title it "In Room 14, we..." and then list all the things we do (as above, but from a 'we' perspective).
     

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