It is that time of year again! Time to reflect upon what we loved about past school years and things that…we didn’t love so much. I am joining over 40 other bloggers to share some awesome tips that you can use in your classroom. Each blog post shares two ideas that worked very well- our “star ideas,” and well, one area we want to improve upon. We are all learners, right?
It took me years to figure this out. The first day should be as simple as possible. Parents always want to talk and kids are always skeered. Sometimes I am too. 🙂 Why make it any harder than it has to be?
Supplies are always overwhelming. Before Sneak-a-Peek/ Meet the Teacher I run to my local grocery store and beg for some large, paper bags. I ask for about 25- or one for each student in the class. I have found Publix to be especially generous.
I write each student’s name on the bag in large black marker on the bag and then place the bag in the chair. If students bring supplies to Sneak-a-Peek/Meet the Teacher I ask student sot put all the supplies in the paper bag. I usually collect the tissues and copy paper, since they are so big.
For the first day of school, I ask students to put all their supplies in the paper bag and again, collect the copy paper and tissues.
Organizing supplies can be a HUGE task and I HATE to waste that valuable first day, when I really need to establish procedures and get the students moving with labeling stuff. I try to do that the second day of school. I know, I am a rebel.
Since my student’s supplies are neatly packed away in a grocery bag under their seats I make sure to have one sharp pencil on every desk the first day. For morning work, I usually have a coloring sheet on one side and a word search on the other. I use the program PuzzleMaker
by Discovery Education to create a word search with students’s names. I like to do this so students can start to become familiar with reading (or trying to) classmate’s names.
I like to use a coloring sheet, because really, what kid doesn’t want to break in those new crayons? I do let them get the crayons out of their bag, but I don’t let them sharpen the million and one pencils in the box. No sir, that one will do ya’ just fine for today!
Okay, full disclosure here. I am not in the classroom this year, BUT if I were in the classroom I would really want to focus on interactive notebooks. I always pictured this:
But, beyond the whole explosions of glue sticks and landfill-like floor, I really struggled with the idea of meeting my student’s needs. With my experience co-teaching, I really learned that not every kid gets it at the same time, the same way. I knew it, but boy did it bring it home for me.
I tried to differentiate as many as the tasks as possible and also include some that are simple enough for the very first days of school to teach students the procedures for interactive notebooks.
Want to take a peek? Here are a few pages:
Want to snag a copy? It is 10% off for today only! Yahoo! This will be a monthly series so check back soon for the other months!
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Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website (www.mandygregory.com) and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.