The Old Gum Tree

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First days thoughts and ramblings. August 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — superkookaburra @ 5:57 pm
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Warning!  Lots of rambling thoughts below. I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing by writing it out.

A couple days ago I made an INB Info Sheet for students, and I just posted it.. what an hour or two ago?  But I mentioned I wasn’t sure about it.  And I have now found something that aligns more with how I like first week to go by cheesemonkeysf.  I love that they are already taking notes and making a foldable about important information.  However, I’m not sure this will be a first day thing in my class.  I’ve been struggling with trying to decide upon and plan the first day(s) of school.  I think part of it is because I’d like to have the same structure for all of my classes even though they are different. My day will look like this (if the schedule doesn’t change, which it might):

  1. 8th grade basic math – not from this team last year, so probably need some getting to know each other activity.  Also homeroom and I imagine there will be a lot of first-day paperwork/scheduling problems to deal with.
  2. 8th grade Algebra I Honors- have been together on a team since 6th grade.  Will be upset that ALL of their old teachers on this team have left the school.
  3. 6th grade gifted/advanced math – Awwww, 6th graders <3!  Will be coming from many different elementary schools.
  4. Plan
  5. 8th grade basic math – like first period, will have not been on this team last year
  6. 7th grade gifted/advanced math – Were together on this team last year, will be upset that ALL of their old teachers on this team have left the school.

So, some classes will need a get to know each other activity, some will just need to get to know me.  Since we are teamed, the kids will be together for the 4 core classes, so I don’t want to do redundant activities.   Also, I’m not sure when to expect my students to have obtained their composition notebooks.  We do have an orientation day next week, and hand out supplies lists, but is it reasonable to expect students to have their supplies first day?  Next week is the teacher prep week, where I’ll be able to meet with my team, so I guess I’ll have to wait to finalize my plans until then.

I wish I could remember what I did last year.  I just looked at my “lesson plans” from last year and for the first day it says “Intro and Expectations.”  Wow, thanks, me.  That’s so helpful.  Oh well, that’s why I’m writing this now.

So, what do I remember?  

I know we did a “Getting to Know You Bingo” thing, which I can’t find the file for.  It was nice because the students were moving around and had to interact with many other students.  I also used it to intro the idea that when you, individually are done, it doesn’t mean your responsibility ends.  Those that were done were required to help other students find someone who could fill a bingo square.

I know we did Broken Circles to teach group norms. Broken Circles doc (This is not mine, I got this when I was in school.) And power point Broken Circles PPT. (I made this from the doc.  I like the exit slip slide… exit slips lasted about 2 weeks last year *sigh*)

I know I explicitly taught classroom procedures, such as entering the room.

What I know I will do to start the year:

  1. Greet students at the door (so they know I’m approachable)
  2. Have assigned seats they can easily find (so they aren’t wandering around the class, so I can quickly tell if my roster is accurate)
  3. Have an activity to get started on immediately (because that’s the way we roll in my class… you enter, you get to work right away, whether the bell has rung or not)


  1. Really want to incorporate a “numbers about me” activity.  Probably intro with numbers about myself.  Then have them come up with some numbers about themselves.  Then go the tothesquareinch direction and have them create math problems to get to that answer.  That could be an interesting look at their effort and abilities.  Are all of their problems number + 0? Do they incorporate multiple steps and operations?  Also, good time to reinforce order of operations.  Then can use to get to know group members. Or maybe a number about me “I can relate!”  That might be neat.  Student A: “I have 3 siblings.”   Student B: “I can relate, I have 3 pets.  or I have 2 siblings”   Later (second day?) these number can help them decorate their INBs.  Maybe this could be first day.
  2. So then second day could be about INBs (if they have them!).  Powerpoint intro with all the what is it and how it works jazz.  Set up TOC.  Most important rules foldable.
  3. What about syllabus?  First day?  Or second day b/c it will be glued into notebook?  Maybe hand out first day and homework is to read it and come to class prepared with any questions.  (I really don’t want to read a syllabus aloud in class.)  Then as part of INB second day, they do this cute left hand side activity from Everybody is a Genius. Maybe as their warm up?  No, I need to answer any questions they have first.
  4. What about broken circles?  Neat, and the kids liked it, but I certainly didn’t refer back to it later on in the year.  Maybe need a group norms poster to refer to.  Oh man, group setup and dynamics… that’s a whole ‘nother rambly post.