What's your first assignment of the year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by curiouslystrong, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    Aug 18, 2013

    My students start school this Thursday (half day), but I've been asked to bring an assignment I intend to use in for a training we're doing tomorrow. I've been tentatively planning to use the 1.5 school days we've got this week to go over expectations and to do some assessment, building off of what I learn from that to plan out lessons for next week. So I'm curious about what others do for beginning-of-the-year assignments...what's your first graded assignment of the year?
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Aug 18, 2013

    My first graded work will be the homework that's due and the quiz that will be given on Day 2.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2013

    How about a writing assignment?
     
  5. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I'd like to get an idea of where their writing is at before I start giving out graded writing assignments...I could probably do a writing assessment that's graded for participation, though. Or if it's ok to use an end-of-quarter assignment that they'd be keeping up throughout the course, maybe writing notebooks/interactive notebooks for social studies.

    I am still curious what others give out for their first assignment of the year, though; I have experience in the subjects I'm teaching, but none before at least a couple of weeks into the school year.
     
  6. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2013

    My first assignment that will be graded is their summer reading project. I also have my homeroom for 3 whole days with no lessons at all! We are free to do whatever we want, play games, go out for lunch etc. My school also has a blanket permission slip that says we can take the kids wherever we want as long as they are back by the end of school.... So I am taking them to the local university for a tour wednesday.
     
  7. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Aug 18, 2013

    I have used this activity with grade 9 students for several years:
    http://corbettharrison.com/documents/OrdealbyCheque.pdf

    Divide students into pairs/small groups. Each group must look through the checks and construct a story about the Exeter family.

    I usually put the document up on the screen and do the first few together as a class, since some students don't know how to read checks. Tell them to try their best in reading the cursive!

    At the end of the period (or at the beginning of the following period), I ask students to share their stories. They will all be slightly different depending on how students' interpreted the checks as well as what evidence they found most important.

    This activity is a great lead-in to the study of history, because you can debrief by asking students to discuss the challenges of working with primary sources, how the story of history can differ from individual to individual, and how doing history is like detective work. Sometimes I give a "Why study history?" paragraph response as a follow-up homework assignment.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2013

    Love that, HistTchr!
     
  9. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Aug 19, 2013

    My first math assignment will be to try to figure out what a "normal" fifth grader is like. The students fill out a survey with questions like favorite color, food, sport as well as optional questions like height, weight, foot size in centimeters and so forth.

    They put their answers in envelopes. So I have an envelope for every question. They are then broken up into teams of 2 or 3 students to analyze and present their data and conclusions. Along the way we study how to determine average: mean, median, mode. How to create a graph using a spreadsheet, and how to make narrative comments based on the data.

    For groups that finish quickly, I hand them really hard data sets to analyze: height for example. Some of the answers will be in metric and some in standard. They learn that bar graphs are useless since no two students are the same height. We then look at the advantages of certain types of graphs for analyzing data.

    Finally we look at all the data presentations to figure out who in the class is average. They learn that no one is. It's ok to be different in our class: the average kid is not average.
     
  10. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Aug 19, 2013

    Thanks! I learned about it at a workshop, and have used it at the beginning of the year ever since. The kids love it.
     
  11. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Aug 19, 2013

    Depends what is being taught. If it's elementary, there isn't too much of a roster shift so you can jump right into teaching them something. At the higher grade levels, the first week is a crapshoot because of the constant roster changes.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Aug 19, 2013

    My students are going to write short stories about their summer for our 1st bulletin board and make all about me posters for another bulletin board.
     

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