Monday, August 22, 2011

The First Day of School!

Today is the first day of school!

I began the day by starting off with our Fabulous Five Expectations!  I posted the expectations on the chalkboard and reviewed the expectations on the SMARTBoard.  The students absolutely loved the gestures that correlate with the expectation.  I think their favorite part of the Whole Brain Teaching program is "Class!  YES!" and "Teach!  Okay!". 

After introducing the expectations and reviewing the expectations using "Teach!  Okay!" we played a game from the Kagan program called "Numbered Heads Together".  Using the program, I was able to have the students practice think time, writing their own answer, working with their team mates to reach a consensus, and then teaching me the expectation when called on! 

I also used the "1, 2, 3" system to get students ready to transition to our school tour, leaving the lunchroom, and going to special classes.  When I call "1", the students know to get ready.  "2" means stand up, push in your chair, and put your hands on the back of your chair.  "3" means to line up in number order.  At first, it took some reteaching and explicit modeling of what I wanted to take place, but by midday, the students were in sync with the procedure and my expectations.

At the end of the day, we began leveling ourselves in the Action 100 reading program.  I am a bit concerned that my students did not take the leveling seriously as many of the students leveled themselves at the top level.  I hope I am wrong!  Luckily, I will have help tomorrow from the fifth grade teachers and leadership team in determining the correct level in the reading program.  I assigned homework, reviewed the homework points system, and dismissed my students.  As Harry Wong says, "I dismiss you, not the bell."  It was a great way to end the first day!  I cannot wait for tomorrow!

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