that first day of school. I thought I'd make a quick blog post with a fantastic no-prep, no tech option.
I can only do this one in the summer with incoming freshmen as during the school year I have too many students who already know me (because I taught them during the summer).
Many teachers do this with a fancy handout or PowerPoint. Since I never know the status of my classroom the first day (e.g. How many students? Will I have technology?) I keep this no-prep and easy.
- I warmly welcome students to my class and ask them what kinds of things teachers usually share about themselves the first day. As they give me answers I write them on the board
- Home city, If they have kids, Professional background, etc.
- If students don't guess right away you can nudge them, but I usually get a pretty good list.
- Usually we get something like:
- How does she teach?Teacher Type
- We tie this into rules and expectations too.
- Professional, Personal
- I have LOTS of "me" around the class, if you don't you may not want to include this.
- Depending on how involved they are, I usually give about five minutes.
- If they're just sitting or staring at one spot. End it sooner. But they're usually into it.
- Ms. Peck has almonds on her desk. This tells me she is trying to eat healthy.
- I also model using different evidence to support the same conclusion: Ms. Peck has almonds on her desk and bike pedals under it. This tells us she wants to be healthy.
- As I say this I also write it on the board. Then I erase my specific terms and the students are left with a sentence frame: Ms. Peck has _______ This tells me ______.
- As students present I praise them for their conclusions even if they are wrong..
- Example: I had a student infer I was Native American because of my complexion and the dreamcatcher in my class. I shared I was Mexican and the dream catcher was for a different reason. Then as a class I tried to get them to guess (I taught American literature)
- Example: I had a student infer I loved to travel because of my travel signs in the classroom (that pointed to Rome, London, etc.) I explained those were because I teach World Literature and asked if anyone saw any evidence that I love to travel other that those? (My diploma from Spain, the picture of me riding an elephant)
- Work in teams
- Find evidence
- Think critically
- Make inferences based on evidence
- Learn about you
- Move around
- I feel awkward calling this student centered, as it's all ABOUT the teacher, but the students do all the heavy lifting.
- And had fun!