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Mrs G Mrs G is offline
 
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Mrs G
 
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first few days
Old 07-01-2017, 05:15 AM
 
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Hi!
I am loving all the suggestions for getting started that I am reading on other people's posts. Would anyone be willing to share their specific schedule for the first few days? How does the teaching of routines & procedures fit into your day?
Thanks!!!


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Old 07-01-2017, 03:18 PM
 
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I'm retired now, but teaching routines and procedures was certainly a big part of the first couple/few days. I alternated a bit of that at a time with various short learning tasks (since their work stamina is minimal then) throughout the day. On the first day I also made sure to plan an activity that would allow the students to use their new supplies that they were always so excited about, and something that they could take home to show their families.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:35 AM
 
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I just fit the routine or procedure into whatever lesson it is, but the first few weeks I plan more time for teaching the procedure than the learning task. For example, I might have a simple lesson that uses a worksheet. I spend a lot of time explaining and monitoring and practicing and reviewing how to put name and date on the paper, making sure every single student has it right. After the worksheet is done, I spend a lot of time on how to pass papers forward. When it's lunch time, that's when I would teach how to line up, again allowing ten or fifteen minutes to explain, model, practice, and review. I just teach the procedures at a time that's natural in the course of the day. After a week or so, most of the procedures have been taught at least once, but I really spend about the first month of school hammering it all home, every time a particular part of the routine comes up.
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first weeks
Old 07-05-2017, 07:47 PM
 
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I read somewhere once that often times the first week of school for kids is similar to going to a birthday party with a bouncy castle and being sat down for an hour explaining how to bounce, how NOT to bounce, how long they can bounce, how fast they can bounce, the consequences of bouncing incorrectly, etc, which effectively takes all the wind out of their bounce-loving sails! Kids are SO excited for a new year and we barrage them with rules and restrictions as soon as they sit down. Not so fun!

Yes- routines and structures are important, but I think the first couple weeks of school should set the tone for your year. For me, after the first week of school, I want my kids to understand that
1. We are all different, but we are all the same and we are on a team!
2. Together we will be growing as readers, writers, mathematicians, etc. We will have time each day to practice and try hard things and reflect on our learning.
3. This is OUR classroom and we all have a say in how it is run.

So, I plan my days around these things. This means, for the first week, we have lots of team building activities. We do STEM challenges (like the cup tower challenge, marshmallow and spaghetti challenge, etc) to promote collaboration and productive struggle. We play lots morning meeting games. We sing songs together. Each kids gets a chance to share about his/her life with the class. We have community circles in which kids decide what are classroom rules should be. We discuss the importance of growth mindsets and making mistakes. We write about our hopes and dreams for the school year.

Of course, we also jump right into the reading, writing, and math work, but through the 3 lenses above. In reading, we are still building our reading stamina so there is extra time to discuss our reading lives. Kids bring in their most favorite book from home and share it with the class. They draw pictures of a time when reading felt good and special to them. We read books with strong SEL themes. We do shared readings of funny, sing-songy big books. In math, we revisit favorite first grade math games and allow time for kids to work in partnerships to solve tricky, open ended problems. In writing, we start storytelling special stories in our lives. We learn that we ALL have stories to tell and that we ALL can write. We use interactive writing to label things in our classroom. We use shared writing to write stories together.

Routines are woven in throughout the day, but they are not the entire day, every day! I high recommend reading The First Six Weeks from the Responsive Classroom. I definitely do not follow it to a T, but they offer detailed daily schedules for the first 30 days of school that promote a respectful classroom environment.
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