The First Week Of School
The first week of school is when you crack out all the Harry Wong procedures and protocol that they taught you in college. Make sure that you are consistent. If you want the children to do something, explain it, model it, practice it, model it more, and praise them when they “get it”.
Most experienced teachers will tell you that the first week of school you teach “how to be a student” and very little curriculum. If you get the basic procedures and rules in place now, the curriculum will be much easier later on.
I have seen many teachers try to teach detailed curriculum on the second day of school and then they wonder in a few weeks why their class is so “bad”. It is because they were never taught how to be “good”. Take the time to model procedures and you will be rewarded in the end.
The first week of school is a great time to play “get to know you” games if your students haven’t been together before.
This is also the time where I try to sit with each child for a minute or two and talk to them privately. I have learned more about a child in two minutes alone at a table than in a whole year with a class full of children trying to fight for my time.
It is during this week that I introduce their chores. At the end of the day the children are responsible for cleaning up the room. I have 4 jobs: stack chairs, clean floors, wipe tables and dust. They are 4 simple things that the children can do, and it makes the custodian’s life a lot easier. I also have the custodian “Rate The Room” each day 1 – 10. The children love to see 10’s and are horrified when they see 1’s. It has made them more aware of how they affect others and have more pride in their classroom.
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