Welcome to my classroom blog where I intend to post my daily lessons for my freshman classes this school year 2016-17.
Today is the first day of school, and in my class, it is all about establishing a positive and fun rapport, and setting up classroom routines.
I started today with the same ice breaker I use every year: I stare awkwardly at my students as I take attendance for the first time. The purpose is three-fold. One: To remember 120 names in a day is challenging. This helps. Two: It makes the students feel really weird and uncomfortable and unsure of me- I look at it as a catharsis. Now that they have felt all these ways, there is no need to fear these emotions in our future together. Finally: it is hilarious, and makes me laugh and makes them laugh. It works every time.
Next, I showed this fun slideshow, to allay the concerns of the students; they always want to know the silly, boring details instead of all the “good stuff.” So, I get all that other stuff out of the way early. I breeze through this quickly, and I almost NEVER mention school rules on my first day. Why? Because inevitably, ALL of their other teachers mention NOTHING but rules on the first day- so I assume the kids GET IT at this point.
Next, students introduce themselves briefly, and I launch into the first Poem a Day and the instructions for said activity.
Each day’s activities will be broken into four sections, and, so will each of my blogs: Poem a Day, Mini-lesson, Active Engagement, and Closure. I like to open with the poem/song, then have a short mini lesson, where I teach a new skill, model a new skill, demonstrate a new skill, or we read and discuss new content. Active Engagement is most of the class, where students practice whatever the lesson is, and work with their peers. Finally is Closure, where I check for understanding and wrap up the learning objectives.
Poem A Day:
I chose this to be my first Poem a Day because it captures the melancholy we all feel on the first day of school, as the sweet summer, and all of its hopes and dreams and promises, draw to a close. Also there is some great figurative language that I want to review with these students who have just spent the last three months forgetting what a metaphor is.
Students are introduced to the class and to me with this adorable slideshow.
Students Introduce themselves.
I answer any questions the students may have, and we dismiss.
Day one: In the books.