September 3, 2012

What to do on the First Day

Tomorrow is my first day of school! It's my 7th first day. . . and if you count how many years I went to school, let's not!
So what do I do the first day?

#1 Who am I?  
First I always greet students at the door. When students are seated (I assign seats) I introduce myself. If the students already know me I will probably tell a funny story from the summer. 

#2 Who are you? 
After attendance, I like to play a name game (a challenging one for students who know each other already) We will play a game of saying your name with a gesture then the group repeats. 

*I just learned about Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. He has many great theater games that can be translated to the classroom. 

This is the "getting to know you" worksheet that upper elementary students will be doing and
including in their portfolios. 
This is the "getting to know you"  worksheet I will do with my lower elementary students. 

I also have a worksheet that students do to tell me a little about themselves. 

#3 What do I expect?
The best is complimenting students who are already doing what I expect. Most students have the rules memorized after a few games and writing them down. It always helps that I haven't changed the rules in three years and some classes said them in the beginning of each class (I took the rules and idea of repetition from Whole Brain Teaching. Check it out here to see art rules in action. I love whole brain teaching techniques even though I'm not that cheesy in real life. . . the students respond. 

Students who are old enough to write fill out this worksheet.
It helps reinforce what we learned.

I got this Mona Lisa Ready from another blogger
I can't find who though! Please link up in the comments if it was you
so I can give credit!
The younger grades will look at the Mona Lisa and we will talk about
Mona Lisa ready and do our best Mona Lisa impressions. 

Looking forward to lucky year #7! I cannot believe I stuck with teaching this long. As I was secretly a little bummed out today, I was reminded why I do what I do. I went to Stop and Shop (a grocery store for those of you down South) for a few things. I loaded the baby in the carriage, headed down the produce aisle and all the sudden a boy jumped on the end of my cart. He looked so familiar! "Mrs. Stinz!" I couldn't remember the boys name for the life of me, but I carried on (the boy still on the end of my cart.) He yelled to his mom "This is my old art teacher. " He is now in 8th grade and has the same exact personality. We talked for a while, he hopped off, and I made it to the baby aisle. "Arianna!" One of my 5th graders from last year! I was so excited to see her. She was excited to see me and Stella. We talked and went our separate ways. From one aisle down I heard her tell her cousin that I was her favorite teacher (I am not exaggerating!)  I yelled back "I HEARD that!" She laughed.

Did God know that this was what I needed going into this year? It didn't stop there. In the parking lot I was greeted by two more of my former 5th grade students, Tommy hanging out a car window yelling "Mrs. STIIIINZZZZ" and Juan high fiving me before I unloaded the groceries. Usually I see my students in Stop and Shop but this was a lot with such nice things to say! I really did take it as a sign that I needed to adjust my attitude, keep doing what I'm doing and remember that it does matter to some people even if they are under 5ft tall.


Mrs. C said...

Isn't it nice to be loved? Sometimes we don't realize the connections we make with our students live on even after we don't have them as students any more. It makes your soul feel good doesn't it? Have a great year! :)

Elizabeth said...

Just wait until you start running into ex students who are grown up and have children of their own - It's just as heartwarming when they remember your name, and recall their 'favourite lesson'! :)

Scott said...

Your Mona Poster looks like mine! I've seen it circulating alot this new school year! Have a great one!

Unknown said...

Thank you much Scott!!!!!! I know I've seen it circulating too:) I LOOOVEEE IT. I didn't realize it was on teachers pay teachers. If you mind let me know.