Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway

I'm super excited to be participating in my very first blog hop!  I've joined Laurah over at The ESOL Odyssey with her Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway.

Last week I talked about the very first things that I do on the first day of school.  If you haven't already, check out my post First Things First on the First Day of School where you will find my First Day Welcome Letter Warm Up freebie and instructions for the Name Game.

After I play the Name Game I talk to the class about myself, a little about my experience and my family.  Then I talk to them about my expectations as a teacher.  I tell them that I have always loved the first day of school because it represents a clean slate for them and for me.  None of us have made any mistakes yet!  I tell them that I don't know what they were like as a 4th grader, so it's up to them to show me, starting right now, what kind of 5th grader they want to be.


I explain to my students that I have very high expectations for myself as a teacher and equally high expectations for them as my students.  "You will be the best class in this whole school!" I tell them.  "When we walk in the hall, we will be the straightest and quietest class.  When we go to an assembly, we will be the most polite and most attentive class there.  When we have a fire drill or tornado drill, our class will be silent and listening for directions not matter what is happening in any other class."  It doesn't take long for my class to live up to these expectations! 

After my beginning of the year pep talk I introduce the rules and consequences of my classroom.  I pass out the rules letter that will go home to parents and discuss with the class what each rule means.  I have the students help to brainstorm what students should do to follow each of the rules, and I explain what the consequences are if they choose not to follow them.  You can find my rules letter and many others in my Start the Year Out Right-Letters to Parents set.  



The consequences that I use are as follows:

1st rule broken-Warning
2nd-5 minutes off recess
3rd-Loss of recess
4th-Call parents (I require students to do the calling.)
5th-See principal

My advice to all new teachers is to immediately begin enforcing your rules and consequences after they have been discussed on the first day of school.  This is so hard to do!  But it is vital to setting the tone and expectations in your classroom.  When a student breaks a rule in my classroom, I quietly tell them "You have a warning for...".  I write myself a note on a sticky to record later in my excel spreadsheet I have created for keeping track of warnings.  I never raise my voice or act angry when a student gets a warning.  I am always very calm and matter of fact.  I emphasize with my students that it is their choice to follow the rules.  If they choose not to follow them, there will be consequences.  So, on that first day when someone blurts out in class, I do give them a warning, just like I would on the 100th day of school.  If I don't give warnings on the first day, it just makes it harder on the second day.  

During the first few days of school I try to limit the amount of time that my students are required to just sit and listen.  So, I try to intersperse the day with activities that get them up and moving around.  Last year I began doing egg hunts in Social Studies to review before tests.  It was one of my students' favorite games to play.  I created a Back to School Egg Hunt that will only be free through August 17th.  So don't wait to get it!





I will be trying this version for the first time myself on my first day this year.  I hope we like it!


As I said, the Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway is being hosted by Laurah over at The ESOL Odyssey.  One grand prize winner will win: A pencil sharpener in their choice of color from Classroom Friendly Supplies, their choice of a blog design OR $25 worth of products from Tools for Teachers by Laurah J, and one copy of each donated unit. We will have one second prize winner who will get one copy of each donated unit and their choice of $25 worth of items from her store.  The Grand Prize Package has a retail value of $122, and the 2nd Prize Package has a retail value of $88! Here are the units you can win!

  • Elements of Fiction Posters
  • First Week Back to School Classroom Essentials Bundle
  • Write with Me Journal (Common Core Aligned)
  • Latin Greek Vocabulary Through the Year, Set 1
  • Getting to Know You- A Back to School Math Game for your Class
  • Place Value Safari
  • Back to School Icebreaker Pack
  • Ten Real Life Applicable Area and Perimeter Cards 
  • Back to school and end of year foldables
  • Common Core Writing and Editing Checklist
I've donated my Elements of Fiction posters to the giveaway!





Bloghopdone.jpg



So, start hopping and good luck!


2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. The first days/weeks are always tough and you have several great ideas. Thank you and I hope this is your best year yet!

    ReplyDelete