I am tired of giving my students a bunch of busy work on the first day/during the first week. I know this time should be spent teaching routines and such, but I know there has to be a more enjoyable and productive way. I want to hook them in the first week! I have a found a few ideas, but I am looking for more and I am sure that other teachers out there are, too! So...let's share!
Here are some things I found that I may want to try during the first week:
This site is GREAT! There are tons of activities that you can use to help build team spirit in your classroom. What better way to start off the year than to challenge kids to work together and get to know one another in a positive way. I really like the idea of our classroom becoming a family, and I think activities like these are the ticket!
Last year, our school implemented a school-wide "respect project." I would not describe our school as one with a great deal of behavior challenges, but there is always room for improvement, right? We felt that by encouraging our kids to be more respectful, we were setting them up for life-long success. I think talking about respect and creating an anchor chart like this one will help set the tone for the year. Some of the ideas we covered as a school last year came from The Essential 55 by Ron Clark. These are basically behaviors that should be expected of all students. We did not do all 55, but selected 10 that we felt were the most important. I found a shortened version of these expectations here.
3. Find out THEIR expectations
I like the ideas I found on Mrs. Robinson's Classroom Blog, specifically her activity that asked students to think about their ides to help their classroom run smoothly. I love the charts she created with her students in this team activity.
That's all I have so far. Please let us all know what you are doing for the first week back by linking your blog below, or just leave a comment! The more ideas the better!