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  1. #1
    Mod-Nomsie's Avatar
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    Default Teachers! Let's talk shop...

    After a 2.5 year absence, I am back in the classroom in 2016. Yay.
    But it's in a 1/2 composite when for the past 8 years I have been majority of the time in with 4/6 kids.

    So, I'm starting to think about what I want to achieve and by when.. and I've got nothing. I'm so used to kids arriving in my classroom on the first day of school being able to read at a fairly good level, being able to follow multiple instructions, and knowing already what is expected of them, that I find myself at a loss.

    So I need to pick your brains!

    Specifically, if you can help with any of the following (or you find yourself in a similar situation and want some advice from others, that's cool too!):

    * Classroom set up. It is team teaching (never done before- I'm going from working in a school of 40 odd children and being responsible for my own EVERYTHING, to working in a school of over 300 children, working in a team of 6 with 5 1/2 composites and being the second most experienced teacher on the team, and being asked to help train up my graduate team mate. I'm freaking out!) so we share two classrooms with the middle dividing doors open. White board up each end, interactive whiteboard in the middle, and up the opposite end is a tv for apple tv etc.

    * I'm wanting to set the room up with a super hero theme over Jan so when the kids walk in, it's already looking inspirational. Why superheroes? Because these kids need someone who believe in them, and who believes that they are super. A lot come from very upsetting backgrounds, and I anticipate a lot of behavioural issues. The superhero theme is going to be a big part in counteracting that.

    * What do I want to have achieved by the end of the first day? (Kids come back for one friday. Thanks, Victorian govt. Awesome.) Ideally I will spend at least the first six weeks working on procedures to make the rest of the year easy. So my first procedure will be how to line up and how to enter the classroom. But what else? I have a whole day to fill in!
    I am thinking I should take a handwriting sample. But apart from that, nothing? Help!

    * I need these kids to know they can trust me. I need to build them up. I need them to believe in themselves just as much as I believe in them. Lots of positive behaviour reinforcement. Does anyone have any good first day activities that fit in with that?

    * Just help in general! Working with such young children (and many of whom I am friendly with, or friendly with their parents because my boys will also be in grade 2 next year, and have spent all their school lives in with these children!) is so different to what I have been doing; I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone. (Which is a good thing!)

    Last edited by Mod-Nomsie; 30-12-2015 at 10:41. Reason: forgot to finish my sentence. Der.

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  3. #2
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    Role playing - raising hands, waiting to be called on, active listening, personal space, asking for help.

    Definitely give them lots of opportunity to tell them about you - I'd do a 'my favourite' page (food tv pets etc) and ask them to set themselves one or two goals for the year.

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    Mod-Nomsie  (30-12-2015)

  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BettyW View Post
    Role playing - raising hands, waiting to be called on, active listening, personal space, asking for help.

    Definitely give them lots of opportunity to tell them about you - I'd do a 'my favourite' page (food tv pets etc) and ask them to set themselves one or two goals for the year.
    Ooh yes, goal setting! Excellent, I'd forgotten all about that!

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    Default Teachers! Let's talk shop...

    When I taught year 2 we role played lining up/raising hands/etc and I took photos of them and made them into posters to display in the classroom. Good visual reference point.

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by teenie View Post
    When I taught year 2 we role played lining up/raising hands/etc and I took photos of them and made them into posters to display in the classroom. Good visual reference point.
    Yes great idea! Thanks

  9. #6
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    Look up first day of school activities on Pinterest. There are so many good ideas out there.

    I usually do something arty or with Australia Day on the first day back.

    And day one is always a big focus on my behaviour code. I try to mix it up every year because I have students for four years in a row.
    I've used Class Dojo and MARBLES (manners, attitude, respect, body language, listening, enthusiasm, smile) with actual marbles in jars and teams etc.

    Also I found this acronym that I'mma use this year which might fit with your superheroes theme.

    You'd have something that says like 'Mrs Nomsie's students are:

    Strong
    Persistent
    Enthusiastic
    Creative
    Inquisitive
    Active learners
    Lucky'

    Although you might want to change lucky if your kids don't feel that way. I'm doing a big focus on mindfulness and gratitude this year which is why I put that in.

    I could talk to you all day about this stuff cos I love it but I won't :-) so excited!!

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    Mod-Nomsie  (30-12-2015)

  11. #7
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    PLEASE talk all day @harvs. I'm like a sponge. Love reading all your thoughts on the topic. And I LOVE that Acronym. That is going on my door!!!

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    What about dream boards? Things they'd like to achieve for the year?

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    Find out about them and what they're interested in, do a game where they are given 5 tokens each and they can place the tokens them on an something the whole class has brainstormed eg: animals, space, families, sport etc... Use lots of think, pair, share in groups to discuss what they're most interested in.

    Choose the 2/3 interest areas with the most votes and have the kids then brainstorm q's about those things while you scribe.

    It will give you some good ideas about their interest areas to develop learning over the term.

    How exciting!!

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    Mod-Nomsie  (30-12-2015)

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    I have only taught the little ones so hopefully something I say will come in handy

    On my first day/week I focus on fun and getting to know you. I have lunch time picnics (food the kids have brought and not shared but I have gingham fabric so set that all out. Some years I ask them to bring their fave toys for that too which is great for getting to know you. It would be great to do a big one a begin connecting with the other classes. I have found heaps of positives and negatives to team teaching environments and the biggest plus has been that when done well, the kids feel part of a totally different community where everyone is their educator).

    Craft, craft, craft. Getting to know you, goals, values, my family craft etc.

    School tour with pics taken and printed into a book and on class wall for all the people and places that are relevant - grade ones so often do not remember much of prep beyond the academics.

    Talk about you, lots. My classes are obsessed with my dog. He features in a lot of stories including social stories for little kids!

    Open ended maths games give me a really good gauge without formal testing of ability. Will add mor soon my little man just jumped on me with a copy of spot

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