What to do on the first day.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jpablot, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. jpablot

    jpablot Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2013

    I'll be going a lot of procedures and have a couple of getting to know you games/activities planned. Are there any other activities that you do to break up the boringness of procedures? lol. I'm making my first day plan right now and I'm trying to find some more stuff to do.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 29, 2013

    I do a read aloud, some ice breakers, unpacking, creating rules, procedures, work on back to school bb project with goal setting. It takes a LOOONG time to get things done those first days, but it's so important to start right to set yourself and students up for organization, a sense of belonging, knowing what to expect.:thumb:
     
  4. hollydoris

    hollydoris Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2013

    I'm struggling thinking of some activities to do, too. We loop at my school, so I already know the students I will have. Although I will still do one get-to-know-you activity, I really don't want to spend a lot of time on it, cause like I said we all already know each other.

    I think I might come up with some sort of art activity that relates to social studies or possibly science just to get their brains started and ready for the school year, and also to do something fun, educational, and productive.

    Maybe a scavenger hunt that they can do in the classroom or outside?
     
  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 29, 2013

    You could play a math game. My grade 6s enjoyed a game called "Snap" - everyone needs a piece of paper with place value columns - I think we played to the 100 000s. So at the top of the paper there was column for each digit to create a number up to 999 988. I gave every student a deck of cards - Ace - 10 (10s = 0). I would say "1..2...3...Snap!" On 'snap' every student flipped over a card and decided which column they would put that card in, trying to make the largest number possible. Once they put a card in a column they couldn't move it. We played until all the columns were full and then figured out who created the largest number. Does that make sense??? (After a few rounds we changed it up - smallest number, largest odd number, etc.)
     
  6. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 29, 2013

    Sometimes I don't get to this until the second day, but I love having my kids make a "time capsule". I give them all a paper lunch bag to decorate on the first day we do the activity and we talk about what a time capsule is. On the second day of the activity, I give them a piece of string that is approximately their height, a questionnaire about their favorite things, a paper to trace their hand and foot, and a picture (I take a picture the first day of school). We put everything inside the bag and I hide them until the last week of school. They always love opening them up and seeing how much they've changed/grown! :)
     
  7. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 29, 2013

    Leigh... I love the time capsule things. We did one when we entered JR. High and was given to us before we graduated...so funny what was so important in 7th grade and how things change BIG and small (what I mean is some people I mentioned passed and small like NKOTB not being popular any more...LOL).
     
  8. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Lol Diz! That would be cool to do it over a few years...I'm not that organized ;)
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Oh we just did one as 7th graders... that was given to us before we graduated...not over the yrs. We had to write a note to ourselves (Our English teacher had us do) telling about our friends, music, news, our hobbies and what not. It was funny. I wrote something like Congratulations you are graduating. It was a lot of fun and you forget about it until your yr of grad comes up!!! LOL!!!
    The High school librarian kept them somewhere... who knows? But she passed them out to us.
     
  10. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jul 29, 2013

    Love the scavenger hunt and time capsule ideas!

    I also take "first day of school" photos - individual for work station charts and "student of the month" poster and a class shot for my newsletter.

    Last year I did goals activity that I found on Pinterest and it turned out to be super cute! I teach K-2 so I read "David Goes to School." Afterward I drew the picture of David throwing the paper airplane on chart paper and we talked about our behavior goals for the year. I wrote those down around the picture of David in different colors. Then I let each child come up and color part of David. It turned out AWESOME and I got compliments on it all year. At the end of the year, I raffled it off as a prize. :)

    I have my kiddos for 3 years so I can't really do David again. :(
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 29, 2013

    I take pics of my kids on their first day of the year, and it goes onto an "All About Me" poster that the kids fill out (it's on their desk when they come in). For a teambuilding activity, I'm planning on a puzzle race, in which my table groups all put the same (5 copies) puzzle (1 per table) together, and the one that gets it put together correctly the fastest wins - probably a piece of sugar-free gum or something. Rules and procedures take up a ton of time - especially since I plan to have them write about and illustrate proper procedures, etc. I'm hoping to incorporate foldables, too. I'll do several read-alouds as well.
     
  12. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2013

    I’m still in school to become a teacher, so take my suggestion with a grain of salt.

    Something I always noticed during the first day/week of school, for every year I was in school, was that every student was kind of nervous to say much. They didn’t know the people around them, or the teacher, and while one of those little games to get to know each other is wonderful and should be done, I always thought it’d be interesting to step it up a notch.

    When I’m a teacher, working together is a concept I want to make important to my kids. There is too much of an emphasis on being an individual, that being cooperative has gone out the window; and let’s not forget: students learn best by working together.

    Thus, I thought on the first day, doing a quick, effective, and maybe even funny group discussion might be great!

    For instance, near the beginning of class, sometime after introductions and rules, but before anything serious, you tell the class that you want to start off with something different. First, you write on the board: “Math,” “Science,” “Social Studies,” and “Writing/Reading.” You tell them there will be four groups (point to a corner of the room where each will be). Tell them to pick their favorite subject and go to that group.

    After they get into their groups, tell them there are 3 steps we are going to take. First step: introduce yourself to your group. Step two: talk and work together, and come up with an agreed reason for why that subject is your favorite. Final step: pick a leader who will say out loud the reason.

    After that (perhaps that will even be a great time to introduce to the class how you will end up getting their attention if the class is too loud, and use that as practice—two birds with one stone! :D) perform it. Then have everyone say their reason why—hopefully, the students will start to feel a little more comfortable with each other, since there is a common interests off the bat. Then, if you wanted to take it another step, do it again, but this time do worst subject. That might even incite some humor, which makes any first day that much better! Now that I think about it, maybe start off with the worst subject for the initial humor, and then favorite subject.

    Either way. It is something I’ve been keeping in the back of my mind for my first day, just to try out. It might bomb, it might not. The whole purpose is for students to interact with one another, learn how to cooperate, and learn how to agree, and, learn how to have discussion. All under the umbrella of, “Ooo, we get to get into groups,” fun.

    Ideally, each step should only take a minute, but we all known how kids can be, so you will have to put aside a good chunk of time for it. I just wish my teachers got the class interacting with each other off the bat, instead of that first week of awkwardness.
     
  13. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2013

    I've been teaching for 27 years, and will definitely steal this idea! Thank you so much!
     
  14. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 30, 2013

    Crono..sounds like a great idea!!

    But where will you stand... You know you'll get asked your favorite!!! Right in the middle right????
     
  15. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Oh my goodness, that actually made me smile big time. :D If you do happen to do it, please tell me how it goes! I always end up not being able to fall asleep because I have random teaching ideas floating around in my head, so it is quite honorable to think a 27 year experienced teacher thinks one is interesting!
     
  16. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Right! I've been thinking how I'd answer that, since I know they will ask.

    I think I'd tell them the truth and say something like, "Well, I have a passion for writing, but, because I'm a big nerd, I also have a passion to teach each one of you the enjoyment of each subject! And don't worry...I will turn all of you into nerds, too. :D "

    Class: -moans and groans-

    Haha
     
  17. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2013

    That's a great idea crono! :)
     
  18. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I'm giving them a letter to fill in things about themselves, goals and their expectations of 5th grade. There's a portion that will stay blank until the end of the year for them to complete as a comparison of their perspective at the end of the year. I'm also giving them a blank puzzle piece they will color while I take a picture of them. The picture will be place in a hole cut out in the middle of the puzzle piece and place in a bb. I'm also doing an iMovie of 5th grade preview showing activities and things previous classes have done.
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I always start with a neighbor unit right at the beginning of the school year. One of the first activities is to talk about how our actions affect each other. Then, we get into a circle and I take yearn and pass it around. Each person grabs on until it has gone all the way around to eac person. Each person is now holding onto the same string of yarn. Then I ask a few of them to tug on the yarn and ask who else feels it. From this we continue our discussion about how our neighbors are affected by our actions.
     
  20. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    I almost forgot about an activity I had to do earlier in the summer for a training that I thought would be a create ice breaker activity for the first day of school. It involves issuing one of those cheap paper plates per student. You have them decorate it on one side and on the other you have them divide the paper plates into sections. One can be, name something you like to do, favorite animal, activities, food and another can be what you enjoyed from previous grade, another can be about family, and then another can be about how they spent their summer.

    I'm still playing around with what they'll write on their sections but basically it will be something similar. Anyway, once they are finish, they have to find someone from another table and do a pair/share about their plate. Im not sure about how to set it up so that they will easily get up and look for someone from another table. I find that the first day, kids tend to be very shy and need much prompting so I want to make it as easy as possible.

    I had to do it and while initially I WAS reluctantly I found that I enjoyed the sharing with another teacher I did not know.
     

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