Friday was my first all-day seminar for CADRE. It was awesome. I feel so much more comfortable about my first week of school, it’s just amazing how much I learned. Here are some of the topics we covered:
* Building classroom relationships and community
* Rules and Procedures
* Writing a first day script
* A few getting to know you activities and ideas that work in the classroom
* Building trust in our mentor relationships
* Planning initial parent contact
This was such an amazing help to me. I now have a check-list for things to do before the first day, a check list for the first two weeks, how to organize my room, and some tips for new teachers. Before this seminar, I felt like I didn’t know where to start. My mind was a blank slate and everything was sliding right off. Now, I have some stems that I can hang my ideas and thoughts on. On my own, I was unable to figure out how I wanted my students to pick up graded work, hand in homework, and start the class. After discussing my thoughts with some of the other teachers, I now have what will be an effective classroom procedure… just in case you are interested, it is as follows (actually, I’m sharing because I think it’s pretty sweet! I’m excited!!):
* enter the classroom (quietly) and retrieve their folder from the box at the front of the room
* take out any graded work and if instructed, place graded work in student portfolio
* place any homework or in-class work in the folder
* replace their folder in the box, in the correct numbered order, before leaving class
I will use colored dots with numbers, on the tab of the folder. Each student will know his/her number, which will be used for organizing work, grouping students, etc. A quick glance at which folders did not get picked up before class will be a quick way for me to take attendance (see who is NOT here, rather than figuring out who IS here). I will also give students time to personalize their folders to reflect their personalities.
In addition to this procedure, I have an accordion file that I will use for missed work, which will be located next to the folder box. If a student was absent, that student is responsible for collecting the missing work and completing it within two days.
I don’t know why I’m so excited about this… maybe because I now have a procedure actually planned. I can’t wait to meet my students and get the year started. I think that as long as I have my rules and procedures in place on the first day of school, I will save so much time in the long run. Yay!
Oh yeah! I also received my teacher handbook Friday. There were so many questions I had, but between the seminar and the handbook, I believe that I have the resources to start my year off right. 🙂