July 27, 2011

More Ideas for the Beginning of the School Year

Last week we shared some teachers’ ideas for beginning the school year. Here are some more:

From the FLTEACH listserv:

I've tried new things each year, and here are some things that work for me.

I have a paper outside my classroom with my name, classroom number and schedule (period and class) so that students can see that they are in the right place. In the first day of school, I have an extra paper on the window so that students can check that they are in the right place. In the first day of school, I also write "Bienvenidos a la clase de español -- Profesora Bass". That also helps them check that they are in the right place (this is to avoid embarrassing them in front of the students because they are in the wrong place).

As they are coming into the classroom the first day of school, I ask them for their last name, and tell them what their seat number is, and tell them to start working on the sheet that is on their seat (it's a sheet where I ask them for personal information and some questions about their background and goals in the class and future - I change the questions every year based on what I want to know about them). The reason why I do this is because I want them to start getting used to the fact that they are going to be working as soon as they walk in every day. When I'm telling the students their seat numbers, I have a list of students that is in alphabetical order, and I write their seat number right next to their name.

In the first day of school, after the bell, I greet them, and go over my rules and procedures, and have them practice some of them - such as passing papers. I have them pass papers to the center.

I also hand out a first-day letter. You can see my first-day letter at http://www.teacherweb.com/CA/ThousandOaksHighSchool/MrsBass/Sp2-first-day-letter---2010-2011.docx

Bass, V. Re: [FLTEACH] Classroom Policies. FLTEACH listserv (FLTEACH@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU, 11 Jul 2011).

I like "Find Someone Who" stuff....
In English for level 1: Find someone who can sing a song in French, knows who Tony Parker is, who has eaten a croissant (there must be some easy ones), who can say something in French, etc.
For level 2 and up, I use the target language; for level 2 I usually use likes and dislikes -- who likes soccer, ice cream, classical music, math, etc.
For level 3 I use past tense to talk about summer: who worked, who slept a lot, etc.

Blaz, D. Re: [FLTEACH] ice breakers. FLTEACH listserv (FLTEACH@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU, 25 Jul 2011).

Last week several teachers mentioned using PQA, personalized questions and answers. You can watch a demonstration of this technique and others on the first day of class at http://vimeo.com/14623651 . The teacher, Scott Benedict, also has a website full of professional development opportunities at http://teachforjune.com

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