What do you currently do for your first three days of school?
Day 1: School related and required stuff...everything in a 1/2 hour has been what I have had to work with on Day 1
- schedules - is yours on the correct color
- what lunch do you have - how do you know?
- seating chart
Day 2: Who I am - a little about my background
- Making an egg drop machine out of masking tape, printer paper and straws
- I go into the elaborate story about how I raise chickens and my eggs are breaking all over the place and I need a way for the eggs to land softly without cracking.
- I place the students into random groups
- They have the remainder of Day 2 and Day 3 to come up with the machine.
Day 3: complete the machine
Day 4: I drop raw eggs into the machines to see if they work
I never do the syllabus until after the counselors quit doing class changes - otherwise I repeat myself too many times.
How can you transform your classroom in the first three days to maximize student engagement and build a strong learning communities?
First of all, I am moving schools, so I don't know what will be required by my new administration in the first days of school.
Secondly, I am reminded of the book, The First Days of School, by Harry and Rosemary Wong. I have that sitting on my shelf, I think I need to go back through that book for some new and refreshing ideas.
Third, I have never done much with the egg drop machines outside of the groupings of the students who build them - my idea was for them to get to know each other. I am thinking this would be the perfect opportunity for each group to introduce themselves as they bring their machine forward. They could tell their name and what they are most looking forward to in their 9th grade year.
What do your three days look like?
* Do a completely random seating chart. Hand out agriculturally related cutouts as the students come in the door. Have a matching cutout at the table where they are to sit.
* Have the students introduce themselves and their cutout for the purpose of attendance and creating the seating chart.
* Complete any school/administration related items.
* Complete attendance - make sure students know my expectations on attendance and tardies
* Introduce the egg drop activity. Make sure students know the limitations (20 straws, 3 pieces of paper, 18" of masking tape)
* Put groups together and go!
* 1/2 class period to complete egg drop machine
* Try out the machines - students introduce themselves and the thing they are most looking forward to this school year before I drop the egg into the machine.
* Give awards - Class Vote on their favorite machine
The machine that worked the best