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Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017-2018 First Days of School Lessons

This is a fun buddy project our class we'll work on with their kindergarten buddies soon. 

The first few days of school are good days to organize, build team, and get ready for a terrific year ahead. I reviewed a number of early-year lessons I've used in the past, and created this guiding list. I'll likely continue to add to it as I'm reminded of many start-of-the-year lessons when setting up the classroom.

Name Tags
Students will make name badges upon arrival. We'll use those name badges for future field studies too.

Name Focus
We'll start with a focus on names. I'll use attendance as a time to learn each person's name. I also give students a chance to write each person's name as each make a wordfind of first names. The next day, they'll exchange the wordfinds with classmates and complete as another way to learn each others' name.

Selfie Project

Desk Set-Up
We'll review the supply list and set up desks.

Review and Revise Learning Expectations and Core Values

What is a positive learning disposition?

Success Criteria

Heart Healthy Classroom

Name Game
There's a great name game that we'll play as well to learn each others' names as well as learn about the many activities that people did this summer. This is a get-up-and-move-game, so that will be good after the initial sitting.

What I want you to know about me
I'll introduce students to the mini-writing center, an area with some stationary, paper, and pens, and ask each student to handwrite a letter to me telling me what they want me to know about them.

Chromebook/Website Introduction
Each child will have a chromebook to use. So students will collect the chromebooks, review the class website with me, and then have time to get started on individual Selfie projects--Google draw collages that introduce themselves to each other and the broader class community.

We'll discuss what makes a great team, and then complete some teamwork activities such as the marshmallow-spaghetti challenge and the notecard challenge.


Co-Constructing the Classroom: Building Teamwork & Respect for One Another
We'll use the orientations to build teamwork and respect for one another through targeted discussions and lessons about learning differences, race/culture, mindsets, and social-emotional learning lessons. We'll also plan a number of enjoyable team building activities at the start of the year in order to give students a chance to get to know one another, make new friends and discover what they have in common. We will co-construct the classroom norms, protocols, rules, and routines with students, and, in part, use the Hosting Conversations research as we build this orientation effort.
co-construct classroom w%2Fss.jpg

Three Truths and a Lie
This is a fun game that a colleague shared. Each person writes four sentences about himself/herself. One sentence is untrue. Students have to guess which sentence is untrue. It's a fun way to get to know one another as well as introduce protocols for listening to each other and taking your turn.

What's Your Number?
Students will decorate a paper t-shirt with their math "number," a number determined using the code a=1, b=2, c=3 and so on. They'll do some work to describe their number as well, and then take and print a picture of themselves to add to the t-shirt for a class "Math Team" display.

Sunflower Glyphs
We'll meet our kindergarten buddies and make sunflower glyphs with them.

We'll review what it means to have a positive Mindset, and work creatively to discuss and publicize that message.

Showcase Portfolio Prep
We'll complete initial portfolio pages and covers.

Birthday Math
We'll focus a bit on birthdays and the math that goes with this including a birthday graph display.

Number Wall
We'll make a 1-100 number wall that includes all kinds of useful number information.

Google Classroom
I'll introduce Google classroom, and a first assignment will be to write a letter to me telling me how to teach math.

Beginning Math Lessons

Seed Packets
I'll use the STEAM seed packet assignment as a living metaphor with regard to the year's goal which is to plant seeds of new information, skill development, knowledge building, and dynamic community.

Hello Campaign
We'll talk about greetings, and initiate a hello campaign for the school.

I'm sure I'll add to this list in the days ahead, but this gives me a good number of activities to prepare for as I continue the room set up today and greet some of our new students on the second day of teacher set-up.