My contribution to our back to school hop can help you get through Day 1 successfully. Here are a few Tips of the Trade that I have used over the years:
1. This tip is important all year long.....Hugs in and out of the door. When I say this I mean you should always greet your kiddos at the door as they are coming in and leaving. It builds a sense of trust and a foundation for a good relationship between you and your kiddos. It doesn't have to be a hug. It could be a high-five, a hand shake, a thumbs up, eye contact as you squat down to say hello or goodbye.....you will know your kids best. I often ask them which they would prefer to do. Remember, this may be the only positive interaction some of these kiddos have all day!
2. Don't badger them with all of the rules at once. I start with only 2 rules in the class for the first 1-2 days. Be kind and raise your hand (mostly because I can't handle everyone yelling at me at once and constant tap, tap, tapping on my side.) I have found in my many years of teaching that focusing on these 2 concepts at the very beginning helps to build a classroom family that truly loves each other.
3. Go NOODLE!!! The first day of school we Go Noodle like 6 times. This process really relaxes the kiddos and gets those nerves out. The funnier you are dancing, the more the kiddos will respond to you in the future. It allows the kiddos to see you at their level, having fun WITH them!
4. Have a classroom scavenger hunt. Give the kiddos objects to find in the classroom like the pencil sharpener, the bathroom, the glue sticks, the expo markers, the clipboards, etc. Tel them they can work together or alone. Whatever floats their boat. This activity will not only allow them to get to know their surroundings better, but it also encourages them to build trust and relationships with their peers.
5. Tour your school. By this I do NOT mean walk to each place then say, "Here is the cafeteria". I mean to actually go to the area and actually explain and model what is expected from them and what they can expect from you or any other adult that might be around. For example, if you go to the cafeteria, take them through the line and model how to say their name or student number. Introduce them to the cafeteria workers. Then proceed to the actual table they will sit at. At the table model quiet voices and proper manners. All of this modeling is done through you talking and the kiddos sharing their experiences. Places that I suggest you tour are: the clinic (they should say hello to the nurses), the office (they should say hello to the secretaries), the cafeteria, the bus loop, the playground, the car rider area, and the walker/biker area. Remember to model clear expectations at each spot. Allow the kiddos to model good examples and non examples.
This would be a non example! :0)
6. HAVE FUN!!! This is perhaps the most important on the first day. As a teacher you want the kiddos to come to school to learn. As a student you want to come to school to have fun. Learning can be fun and there is no better time to set the tone for that than the first day of school. Play, dance, sing, and experiment together. A few of my favorites are leap frog, sight word back writing, magic play dough, jitter juice, and did I mention Go Noodle? ;0)
By putting the effort in at the beginning of the year it will create a learning environment that your students will feel successful, safe, and productive in after just a few weeks into the school year.
Hard a work during Readers Workshop.
My FREEBIE for you tonight is a set of teaching posters and book shopping cards.
This is perfect if you are a teacher that uses Readers Workshop and allow your kiddos to shop for books out of your own classroom library. Just click "Readers Workshop" to download your FREEBIE.
If you like the shopping cards, I have a great emergent reader that explains How To Shop for books using the shopping cards. You can get it for only 1.50 in my TpT store. Just click How To Shop In A Classroom Library