First Day of School 2016

This year, I didn’t love my first day of school.  I had a plan, it went fine.  However, since I took a year off, all day I felt like I lost my mojo.  There wasn’t any one thing that I could put my finger on either.  I just felt like I was awkward all day.

I teach five classes.  I have two one-level Algebra 1 classes, one on-level Geometry class, and two on-level Algebra 2 classes.  The Algebra 2 classes were a little bit of a last minute surprise for me!  My largest class has 16 and my smallest class has 6 (!).  

I did almost the exact same first day with all three of my preps.  First, I had students come in and find their seats from a seating chart that was taped to the whiteboard.  Then, there were directions projected onto the board that instructed them to start working on the worksheet that was on their desks.  I used my worksheet that has students use mathematical expressions to tell about themselves.

After a few minutes, I took roll.  Then, I went through a very unimaginative powerpoint with a few things about myself and hitting the highlights of my syllabus.  Then, I passed out textbooks.  All of this was very boring.

After that, I has students color the Back to School Pennant from Scaffolded Math and Science.  That was more fun than my boring powerpoint.  It looks super cute in my room and helps hide my ugly paneling.  Don't you just love it?

Back to School Pennant for the First Day of School

I wish I would have done something more interesting on the first day.  I thought about using memes for the powerpoint and doing a short lesson on the golden ratio, but I was just too tired when it came down to it.  Being a working mom is much harder and more tiring than it looks!  I’ve been heading to bed at 8 every night when my son goes to bed!


So, with the first day over with, I will totally use the worksheet and the pennant again, but I need something more creative for the rest of the class period.

6 comments

  1. I feel like the first day of school is always awkward, especially when you don't have any students you already know. The kids are never really sure what to think of me! I'm super jealous of those class sizes- mine range from 27 to 36. Admin promises they are going to get all the Algebra 1 sections below 30, but for now there are a lot of folding chairs and clip boards to get us through.

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    1. I can't imagine a class of 36! That would be insane!

      My room is maxed out at 22 desks. I have 18 in there now and it is tight. When kids have their backpacks there isn't room to walk between the desks. I wouldn't even have room for folding chairs!

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  2. Thank you so much for including me in your post! You know I have always loved your writing and reading about your teaching. That paneling though. It's so, it's so.... AWESOME!

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  3. Have you shared your getting to know you worksheet? Is it on TPT! Thanks!

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    1. Yes! I forgot to link it. I'm sorry! I linked it in the blog post. You can find it at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Day-of-School-Math-Activity-1616192

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  4. Hi there. I am still loving all you do. I had struggled with the first day, but with some help, I got 3 activities to work through. The first is a team builder with the plastic cups with yarn and robber band. They attach a piece of yarn, one for each in the group around one rubber band and work together to stack cups. Then we switch off to a no sound no writing activity that requires through nonverbal communication they put themselves in order by birthdate. It’s really fun watching them work out the months and then days, but they usually do it with minimal grimacing. The final activity takes them outdoors where their groups from activity 1 are asked to regroup in the yard outside. I brought the hula hoops with me. I ask them to hold hands with 1 hula hoop between 2 people and without releasing hands, get everyone in their group through the hoop twice. It takes the entire period, and it forms the basis of our first Socratic seminar the next day about what they learned, how they learned and why everyone needs to participate to be successful in class. I leave the paperwork for the next day. No complaints and the activities are viewed as totally fun for me and for them. The next day we go into how to complete a Socratic form and how to prepare when you aren’t given a reading. That’s my basis for setting my class up for a week or so. They see the purpose for the class, and it is as fun as we can possibly make it. We also make our inbs into art and work on our selfie pages for intro into the notebook. Thanks for all your work. It has helped me immensely as a veteran teacher. Keep up your blogging. You are a great teacher.

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