Saturday, September 6, 2014

#mtboschallenge Week 4: Day 1 of School

This is Week 4 of the #mtboschallenge on twitter.  The challenge is to blog once a week for the remainder of 2014.  Each Saturday there will be a different prompt shared to blog about.  The prompt will be shared prior to Saturday on twitter using #mtboschallenge  You can link up on my blog (or any other blog that shares the link up). Also share your blog post on twitter with #mtboschallenge .  You can copy the following graphic into your blog post.  Each Sunday @druinok from  Teaching Statistics will host a 3-2-1 Summary prompt where you can blog about anything you choose.  We really hope you join the challenge!

The prompt for this week is to blog about your first day or week of school.  Please check all the blogs that link up and leave comments.  If you started school earlier and already posted about your first day or week feel free to link that post.

Tuesday Sept 2nd was our first day of school this year for students.  We started the day with a 2 hour orientation period with our first hour students.  I had told my students and parents at Back to School Night that I would provide breakfast for the students.

We went through all the apples and four bags of donuts.  These kids were hungry!

This was our schedule for the day.  During the orientation period we went over lots of information in the student handbook, watched a few short informational videos that were created by students, and had a station where we went to the cafeteria/playground and our administrators filled the students in on how the lunch lines work in the cafeteria and other important expectations.

Day 1 Bell Schedule.

During my 30 min math classes that day we started out with introductions.  I introduced myself and then I had the students tell me their name and if they prefer use a nickname.  I had them tell us what elementary school they came from and they had the option to describe their day so far in one word.  To not put pressure on anyone I told them they could pass on giving the one word description and nobody did!  Popular words were confusing, fun, and stressful.  I came up with the one word idea at the last second and I really loved it.

After introductions we got started on my first day post-it prompt activity.  This is my third year doing this and it's still one of my favorite things.  I was cracking up when I saw the first two posters during my first hour.  I told students to put the post-its on the posters and they ended up making an array, I told them I loved the array, but they could put the post-its anywhere on the poster.  They got a little more footloose and fancy free with the last two posters.

Love the arrays they started.

They got a little crazy on the last two.  LOL

Do you just love the boxes full of consumable texts on the floor?  Yes they drove me crazy all week, but I am happy to report that as of yesterday during Homebase, boxes are all gone.  There are piles of Volume 1 books ready to hand out next week and the Volume 2 books are now boxed up and stored away until we need them when we start Chapter 9.  I felt like I was running a little sweatshop, with the kids unpacking, separating, and repacking books frantically.  My Homebase is full of great helpers and most students didn't have much homework to be working on yet so it worked out well. I try to never do myself what students can help do.

Students in action.

Here are the completed posters. When I do this activity.  I pass out a pack of post-its at each table with four per student.  Then each student writes a response to each prompts.  When everyone at the table is finished with the prompt ONE person collects them and puts them on the poster.  That way I only have six students at the posters at a time.  It's much more controlled than every student getting up and putting their own post-it on each poster.

I used the same four prompts as last year and these posters are the same ones I used last year (I laminated them).  I kept those up the entire school year, but this year I will need to space for anchor charts I create so they won't be up all year.

The students definitely enjoy this activity and I don't want to overload them with information on day one because they have already had the two hour orientation session full of information.

Lots of responses of FUN this year.

Always so impressed with their responses to this prompt.

Always laugh when they put "Teaching Us" 

Growth mindset!

Completed posters on my side board.  I have magnets on the back of them.

The finished product.

Day 1 went great this year.  The students were sweet, respectful and fun.  I have blog posts planned for Day 2- Workshop Introduction, Day 3- Carnival Bears (problem solving), and Day 4- The Marshmallow Challenge (team building).

My first week is over and it was fun, exciting, and exhausting.  I know it's going to be another great year because I can already tell how awesome my students are.  This weekend I need to spend some time going over my first lessons for Carnegie and figuring out how to incorporate growth mindset in my classroom.  Hope everyone had a wonderful first (or beyond) week.

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm not a math teacher (probably should have been), but teach secondary ELA and Government. I still enjoy your blog posts each week. Stop by sometime.
    Kovescence of the Mind

  2. Hi
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post because I noticed a lot of similarities that we also did with our math students on their first day of class. I am currently student teaching in a 6th grade math class. I think your blog gives some great ideas for first day projects with students. Hopefully by next year I will be a full time math teacher and definitely look forward to keeping up with your blog. Thanks for a great math teacher blog!

  3. Hi there! Thank you for your blog. I love reading everything you post. What lucky students you have! Question about the post-it prompt posters...I did this last year after seeing your post but found I didn't really do anything with them after the activity...Do you read some of the responses out loud? Is it mainly for your information? Do you discuss their responses? Thanks in advance!

    1. I speak with them in terms of very popular answers like lots want our classroom to be clean or quiet. I actually left the posters up all year and the students would look at them all the time.


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