Tips For Start Of The School Year For Teachers

Start of School Guide

The First Two Weeks Of School

The first two weeks of a school year is chaotic, at times, a weighs a great deal on teachers and students alike. Here are a number of things you can do to make your year start off right:

1. Talk to your friends and family - Make sure that they are aware that you will be very busy during this time.

2. Don't Panic, Plan-it - If you plan well, every thing should fall into place. Just make sure your plans cover all variables.

3. Create a Checklist - Write down everything you need to do to have a successful first time weeks. Work your way down the list.

4. Get Your Room/Space Ready to go! - Do this days before students come in.

5. Self Reflect - Ask yourself "Are the kids going to like this lesson." Make revisions until you find a format that is both educational and engaging.

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Teaching Idea

"Parent Rolodex"
Theresa, Grade 7 Science Teacher

"On the first day of school (for homework), I assign the students to come to school the next day with all the information I would need for them (parent names, address, home phone, work phones, e-mail addresses, etc.). The next day I hand out a blank index card to each child. I walk them through each line to fill in the card. I also have them include their homeroom number and their birthdays. I then collect them alphabetically and place them in different sections on my rolodex for each class. I always have my student's contact information close ate hand. I am also able to easily find a student's homeroom. I use the birthdays to makes a monthly chart of birthdays for the month. It works so well the other teachers on my team come in to get the information."

Teaching Idea

"How Many Marbles?"
Tara, Grade 2 Teacher: Lexington, KY

I always start the first day off with my half day marble activity. I put a jar of over 100 marbles in front of the class and ask them to guess how many marbles are in the jar. After they guess, we ask them to write a short description of why they think there is that many marbles. The student who comes closest, I usually give a prize to.

Teaching Idea

Breaking the Ice
7th Grade Language Teacher: Portland, Oregon

Find 5-10 really interesting pictures or posters about 8"x10" in size. Laminate the pictures and then cut them into 4 equal pieces. Depending on how many students you have in your class, pick out the number of pictures that you need to equally distribute each piece to all students. For example, if you have 20 students, you will need 5 pictures which will yield 20 pieces. Shuffle the pieces and then randomly hand each student a piece. Ask the students to find the other pieces to complete the puzzle. It's a great ice breaker; it gets students to interact!

Teaching Idea

Informal Survey
5th Grade Teacher: Poughkeepsie, NY

Create an informal survey polling your students interests, i.e., favorite subjects, favorite hobbies, number of family members, cultural background,etc. Collect responses and use findings to create a frequency distribution leading to percentages, etc. Show students the similarities and celebrate the differences. It's a great way to get to know your students and share the knowledge with the whole class. It's also a great way to introduce a mathematics lesson.

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