Sunday, July 30, 2017

Getting the Most Out of the First Days of School

The first few days of school are chaotic. There is just so much to do. With secondary students they see so many teachers that it's imperative that we don't just read through the syllabus and give a lecture on class procedures like every other teacher.

Instead I like to teach my procedures by doing meaningful activities that also help set the tone that my class is one where we will be doing work, each and every day.

Read on to find out how I do this!

1. To train my students in my testing and quizzing procedures I give a syllabus quiz. I create a 5 question quiz that goes over my extension policy, late work policy, plagiarism policy and anything else really important for that semester. I use the time to show them how I want them to stay silent etc. (Here's a copy of my syllabus template- Quiz is not included)

2. To demonstrate how I like my papers passed out and turned in I give my students a writing diagnostic. This way I can also get a read on my students' writing ability. I can also clue students in as to what appropriate activities are for finishing. (Check out the 5 prompts I use below)

3. I have students complete a bell-work activity each day. On day one they complete a "Welcome to my class" half sheet. The next few days I typically use journal entries. This sets the tone from day one that they get started on something immediately!
4. I will assign something small as homework. If anyone doesn't do it I have them fill out the missing work slip. We also discuss the late work pass.  At least one of the days I will do an exit ticket to get them used to using those as well.

5. Lastly, at some point during the first few days I have the students get together in groups. I use my group creation cards so they know how I like to assign groups. Whatever your strategy is, it's good for them to learn your policies early!

What procedures do you make sure to go over?

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