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Take a look into my planning for the first week of school...
When students are first allowed into the room I make sure to take the time to introduce myself to every student. This is an important step to making sure they all feel welcome and it helps them settle faster. Break the stranger barrier before their parents leave. I also introduce myself to the parents and direct them to the instruction sheet I put on every child's desk for what they need to do with their belongings. I found that instructions displayed around the class usually got lost in all the commotion of the room.
Once the bell goes I instruct the students to say good bye to their parents and come to the seating area. I find acknowledging parents in this way makes it clear, in the nicest way possible, that on this occasion they are not invited to stay.
I then tell the students about myself and give them some relate-able facts about me. Give the students a chance to make connections with you and understand you don't live at school! Following this I play a mix of 'get-to-know-you' games in between discussing unspoken classroom rules and procedures. My favourite game to play is 'My name is...' but will be playing it slightly differently next time after reading this blog by Cult of Pedagogy!
Class rules is next on the list and I take all of the students' suggestions, group the similar ones, then scaffold students to frame all the class rules into positive form. You want students remembering what TO DO not what NOT TO DO. The next day I put up the rules up on display. I printed mine on A3 and use them every year as the rules the students come up with are always pretty much the same thing. Once I show them the typed up rules I get them to sign their name in agreement to follow them.
If you'd like to download my decorative welcome banner and classroom rules please click the link below!
Next we make desk tags. I get them to pick the colour of a half (lengthwise) piece of A4 card. They write their name in large letters in pencil first then once approved they go over it in permanent marker and decorate. This gets laminated that night and on their desk the next morning. It allows them feel like they belong and have ownership over the room.
We then move onto diary writing where I go through how I want them to set up their book in terms of ruling up and date. Make sure to read their diaries as they are writing and ask questions to show you care about them.
For maths we start with Number Crunch then proceed with an about me activity on numbers all about them!
We finish up this section with a fun maths game.
After lunch is usually where I start a fun unit such as health or D&T.
You will notice I don't do any assessments on the first day. This is because most data gathered in the first day is not an accurate representation of students ability. Students need to get back into the swing of things and get their brain juices flowing.
I start reading groups in the first week based on information given by the previous years teacher. These groups get shuffled around as much as necessary in the first few weeks.
I continue with about me activities throughout the week, start units of work and conduct assessments such as reading, spelling and numbers.
Asking students about their future families is always a great read for parents!
These houses open to reveal pictures of the students family. A great way to you to gain insight to the students home life.
Templates and other about me activities can be found in my About Me Package which is linked below!
I love teaching graphing and data analysis in the first week as it is another means to get to know students and is an easy concept to cover. I like graphing birthdays and how students get to school. I've included graphing templates, questions and components to make large graphs for display in the About Me Package