We all know that those first days of school are crucial. They help set the tone in our classroom for the rest of the school year. They are a time when we need to get to know our students, and they need to get to know us, since these are the first steps to creating a classroom community. But they are also a time for teaching class rules and procedures to ensure everyone understands how that community will function. It doesn't matter whether you teach kindergarten or 12th grade, class procedures need to be taught.
But how can you teach them in an effective yet fun way? A way that engages students? Below are 5 videos that contain great ideas for starting strong in all different types of classrooms.
1. Strong Start in the ESL Classroom
Veteran ESL teacher, Carol Salva, explains the 5 activities she uses to get to know students and start developing language in her newcomer classroom. However, her idea for using Kahoot to get to know students could be used in any class with access to computers or tablets.
2. Strong Start with a Morning Routine
Elementary teacher, Rosa Gordon, explains the movement-based morning routine she has students do to start every day off fresh, set intentions and, ultimately, develop a growth mindset.
3. Strong Start to Completing Classroom Activities
Claudia Sever, a middle school Math teacher, demonstrates how she uses a simple acronym, CHAMPS, to clarify expectations before students start classroom activities. This helps reduce behavioral issues and increase independence during those activities.
4. Strong Start that Gives Students a Voice
John Spencer, who runs the YouTube channel called New Teacher Academy, takes a different approach to teaching procedures. He works with the students to develop a "procedure grid," which he says is so effective because students take ownership of the ideas. These ideas could work at all grade levels.
5. Strong Start All Around
Miss May, whose YouTube channel is called One Fab Teacher, offers a slew of practical, useful procedures for teachers to use. Though this video is intended for elementary school teachers, many of these ideas could easily be modified for secondary classrooms.