Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First week of school

I have a love hate relationship with the first week of school.  I love meeting new students and getting to know my new class. I love seeing what they know already and areas that we will see tremendous growth.  I love seeing (most of them) excited to come back to school.

I hate how slow things move. I hate dealing with supplies.  I hate practicing over and over again procedures!
BUT I am now finished with week one and couldn't be happier.  Week 2 is going much better.  For the most part my class is settling in nicely.  We are still working on our noise levels! ha, but things are going well.

I wanted to share a couple things I did for the first time during the first week that I really enjoyed and will do again. Before that though, I was able to participate in Laura Candler's Webinar about Sowing the Seeds of Classroom Success. It was very helpful for me and had lots of great ideas.  The livebinder where you can find all the information is here.

One of those ideas was by Christi Fultz, from Ms. Fultz's Corner, was about creating a class promise.  I LOVEd that idea.  So we did.  Almost every morning we read it together to remind ourselves of what our class should be like.  It is great.

The other thing we did was the "Me Bag", 5 things about you in a bag.  This really helped some of my students feel comfortable sharing in our class, since they started by sharing things about themselves. I hope to do a lot more sharing and speaking in front of the class this year, so this activity helped to set the tone for that!

The last thing I wanted to share was something I did do last year and did again with equal amounts of success.  I call it the Human Knot.  First I separate the boys and the girls and each gender makes a standing circle.  They put their hands in the center and find a different person's hand to hold, without it being the person beside them.  They then try to untangle the knot, without letting go.  They might have to turn, or crawl over or under another person.  This helps them get to know each other quickly on a personal level, having to be so close to each other.  As well as problem solve as a team to figure out how to untangle themselves. I love it.  Once they can do it in same gender groups and become more comfortable with each other, we do it in gender mixed groups. It is somehow more challenging for them :)

Anyway, I hope those of you just starting school have a great time! OH! Also, I saw this floating around and wanted to share it toooo!

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