Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The First Few Days

It takes more than one day to get kids comfortable with the expectations in my class. We practice & review for a long time. It looks something like this:

Day 1 - Introductions (Read about day 1 in detail.)

Day 2 - 
  • Welcome back students at the door, reminding them to check the agenda displayed on the board.
  • Review start-of-class procedure/check the agenda.
  • Pick up Safety Contracts & composition books (Have Sharpies to put names on books.)
  • Give students a chance to ask questions.
  • Go over RULES.
  • Review group work procedure / discuss the importance of TEAMWORK (Read my TEAMWORK post.)
  • Do a teamwork activity like Marshmallow Towers, Marble Ramp, there are hundreds on the web.
  • Discuss teamwork and group work. Advantages? Disadvantages?
  • Review clean-up procedure.
  • Dismiss.
Day 3 - 
  • Meet students at door, reminding them to check the agenda displayed on the board.
  • Review procedures.
    • Start of class
    • Getting supplies
  • Pick up Safety Contracts.
  • Set up Journals. (See how I do this here.) This takes a long time, longer than you would think. More on how I use notebooks can be found HERE.
    • Teach how to glue (Dot, Dot, Not a Lot!)
    • Scrap paper in the recycle bin.
  • Wander around and check each journal.
  • Review teamwork. Complete the teamwork organizer and glue it into the journal.
  • Review end-of-class procedure.
  • Dismiss.
Day 4 - 
  • Meet students at door, reminding them to check the agenda displayed on the board.
    • Students will be instructed to get their journals out & have them on their desks.
  • Explain how a daily warm-up question will be displayed from here on out.  Show the timer and how it will work.
  • Do the first warm-up question.
  • Wander around and check each journal.
  • Do Animal Tracks observation & inference lesson.
  • Process lesson.
  • Explain turning-in-work procedure.
  • Turn in student sheets.
  • Review Rules, Procedures.
  • Dismiss.
Day 5 - 
  • Have agenda & warm-up question ready, remind students to check board and get busy.
  • Discuss warm-up question.
  • Explain EarthWatch.
    • Students have a copy of the Atlantic Basin Hurricane Tracking Chart & a world map.
    • We use the data from the National Hurricane Center to track tropical storms & hurricanes during the year.
    • We use the World Map to record any other Earth event - large earthquakes or volcanoes, wildfires, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches, anything really.
    • In the fall, we record hurricane data almost daily. After that what we record is random, but usually we have something a couple of times a week. I get my earthquake data from Teachable Moments - it is wonderful!
  • Do first EarthWAtch
  • Continue on with content instruction.
  • Review procedures as needed.
  • Dismiss.
The rest of the year -
  • I introduce procedures & policies as they come up.
  • I review something weekly.
    • I often include a quiz or test question about a procedure or policy.
  • After a holiday, I review the major procedures before we do anything.
  • It's an ongoing process.
The time I take to teach procedures up front really pays off the rest of the year.  We save a ton of time because kids know what to do.

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