The First Week of School Can Be Stressful. How Can I Manage It?


(Brandon)

Honey, my classroom is all set up thanks to your suggestions on classroom layout ideas and classroom bulletin boards. But, what can I actually do the first week of school?


Answer

Great question Brandon and asked a lot.

I go nice and easy. Always keep in mind that your students have been off for the summer and so have you.

The first few days, get to know your students' names and a little about themselves and vice versa. Remember - let them know you as a person; for example, I tell them about my family - husband, 3 kids and a dog.

There a several classroom games and activities I do the first two days:

1. The "Name Game"
2. "Getting to Know You" activity sheets
3. "My Favorite"

Learn more about these activities by reading my pages on classroom games. They're fun and very effective.

The first day I also give out school supplies; pencils, erasers, ruler, scissors, crayons, etc.

I also allow my students to sit wherever they want in my group seating arrangement. Throughout the next day or two, I observe them and change students around where necessary.

The second day of school. I start with a review of their previous year's work. For example, if I'm teaching a Grade 4 class, I would have made up 15 addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions ( one operation each day, possibly taking questions from the Grade 3 math text).

Throughout the week I will give a spelling review (previous year's words), grammar sheets, fun activity sheets (you can get activity sheets from "Scholar's Choice" or "Scholastics"), simple art lessons (start filling up the classroom bulletin boards), and gym classes (even soccer baseball outside).

I also introduce the student agenda. Student agendas are a very important element for effective teacher parent communication.

And .... before you know it, the first week of school is over. Only 39 more weeks of school to worry about! NOT .... with my help, some of those worries will disappear.

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