Day 1, Semester 2

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Day 1, Semester 2

On the 1st day of each of my classes, I covered the following:

  1. Welcome / Seating Plan: As the students walked in,  I attempted to welcome each person and then drew their attention to the fact that I had a seating plan waiting for them.  I like the idea of having a seating plan already set up because I feel it sends the message right from the beginning that, on some level, I am in charge and I have made decisions about them before they have even stepped foot into the classroom.
    *** An idea that I ‘stole’ from Narda Robbins was the idea of a constantly changing seating plan, which would require students to work with different people all the time and promote community building and build social skills. I ‘warned’ students of this fact!
  2. “Green Sheets”: I then introduced the “Green Sheets” that we will be using everyday, which are an idea I ‘stole’ from Dr. Jamie Pyper, a math-teacher colleague working at my school.  Essentially, he took the idea of an exit card and expanded its scope: these sheets are now to be used each day as exit cards, entrance cards, reflection on their performance, communication booklets, goal setting sheets, mini calendar / day timers, and even academic performance trackers. (More on the Green Sheets here.) In class today, I had the students set up the green sheets with their names, the date, and any  information about themselves that I needed to know, such as eye sight issues, hearing issues, etc.
  3. ON TARGET ~ How Our Class Will Run: I then showed the students my On Target slide, which I have discussed in an earlier post. I gave the students a handout of some of the slides which had some words left out in a cloze style so they had to fill in some blanks. My rationale here (another idea from Dr. Pyper) was to get the students ‘working’ on the first day, so that they get the feeling right away that this is a place to work towards success and that I take my job seriously.
  4. Course Outline: I then took the students through the course outline, again with some words left out to keep them engaged and to avoid me talking  and them simply listening for 70+ minutes.
  5. SURVEY: I then asked the students to complete a booklet of surveys I created using blackline masters from a Karen Hume’s book Start Where They Are. These surveys included one on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, Visual Auditory Kinesthetic, as well a survey on their interests. The students then posted their top results up on a piece of bristol board using Post-It notes so that we had an instant bar-graph that functions as a snapshot of this particular group of people and it functions as guide for me as the teacher.
  6. GET TO KNOW YOU: I then had the students participate in an activity that will allow them to get to know their table mates a little better.
  7. EXIT CARD — Green Sheets: Using the Green Sheets, I then had students write about one thing they learned about today from the slide show and from the surveys, which I read about the night.

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