So what is really important? How do you start the year? Here are my top five things new and us “oldie” teachers that give a “high five.”As my students enter the room, I have them sit on the rug, even the eighth graders!
What I learned on my Summer Vacation
While sitting on the rug, I like to start the year with new things I have learned or found over the summer. It creates a culture of sharing with my students. So, it’s not about all the trips and vacations the students have done, but about learning they did.
I then let them choose their chair. I let the student choose and change the seating every month. Of course, during the month if problems arise you move a student, but it rarely happens to me. I use the promethean board loaded with they names already on the board and simply move the names around to the seating.
Those dreaded classroom rules. Click here for my rules. This is the least talked about and the most important. Set your rules the first day, but don’t make the first day all about rules. Know that 90% of your students will never break the rules on purpose, so the rules are for the 10%. Have less than ten rules, and briefly go over them. Have procedures about leaving the classroom, bathroom pass, and your feeling on coming late.
First day, get it done
The first day the students should leave with “something” they have done. Something they can say “this is cool.” This will also set the tone for the year. Wow the students the first day and they will wow you the rest year.
Show your excitement about your subject and let them “feel the love!”
Remember when parents ask “How did school go today?” Students talk about “She was nice.” It’s all about being nice the first day!