In school, I met all of my students, learned their names, set up expectations, and started building those relationships that will carry me through the year. This year, I’m teaching several sections of Current Events and some good old fashioned Science Fiction. My upperclassmen know me in person or by reputation, and they seem excited to take my class. My freshmen are smiling. I heard one person say, “Oh, this class is gonna be fun.” That’s a good sign. I want them to have fun in class, so I can sneak in extra learning while nobody is paying attention.
On the homefront, I have a first grader. He came home with a packet of papers filled with stickers, stars, and happy notes. I felt guilty–I didn’t send any papers with stars, stickers, and happy notes. I sent a course overview with all the work we’d be doing, a permission slip to participate in the blended learning activities like the videos, class Twitter, Learnist boards, and class blog, and a welcome letter which included the rules of digital citizenship for students and families. In retrospect, I should have sent some star papers and stickers, too.
At any rate, both my son and my students started off the year with smiles. That makes me happy.
As a parent or teacher, getting the school year started with the proper level of excitement, good, solid routines, and positive energy every day goes a long way to setting up success for the next 180 days. Helping kids to be lifelong learners isn’t easy, but it’s what we do.
This week’s Learnist feature is dedicated to getting your year started on the right foot. In addition to enjoying and interacting with these Learnist boards–and maybe even making some of your own–I’d like to invite teachers and parents to participate in some twitter chats, too. Chats such as Parent-Teacher Chat (#ptchat), New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) , Satchat (#satchat) for educational leaders, and the many topic and grade level chats will inspire you.
Here is an updated guide, but you can add your chat if it’s not on the list using the “+add to this board” feature. As always, please follow @LearnistTweets on Twitter and like Learnist on Facebook.
The first days of school are here! This board helps you get in the mood and stay there, as well as plan some activities that should–but might not be–at the heart of your routine every year.
This is something I feel strongly about. Students appreciate when you remember their names immediately. High school students will call you out on that–”Remember my name, Miss?” I aim to remember them Day One. I use some techniques to do that, but occasionally I “fake it till I make it.” For elementary teachers, names can be tough because students are always in motion. The same is true for middle and high school students, but there are so many more of them to remember. You can do it! The quiz is on Friday.
This is a great beginning of the year board. Breaking the ice and creating relationships in the classroom is a critical step in building learning and success.
This learning board is helpful in giving some tips and tricks to set up classroom routines and create positive systems for classroom leadership, especially for new teachers.
Setting goals is critical to driving instruction where you need it to be.
This is a collection of homework coupons you can use for your class. The work is done for you–coupons are attractive and themed.
Start the year off right with this really amusing activity. Students fill out the words, having fun and learning fall vocabulary to get them in the swing of things.
I have used this board more than once in my classroom. This is a go-to favorite. I lose a million pencils a minute. This teacher doesn’t. I wish I could send her a pencil of gratitude.
How did I miss these things? A Chuck pencil case? A tape tape dispenser? These things are fun.
This board is for the students. There’s nothing worse than a dead banana at the bottom of a locker, discovered sometime in June. This’ll never happen with these handy organization tips.
I thought of this learning board today when one of my students simply couldn’t sit down. I put him in a place where standing didn’t get in the way of the class, and allowed him to stay there. He was happy. I was happy. Sometimes I send students for a walk or plan an activity. By planning active classes, the can’t-sit-stills use their energy and add to the class. Having a class that provides for this level of movement and flexibility is a different experience for some, but it pays off in the end. Positive energy can be harnessed into learning.