Well, the first day of the 2013-2014 school year is under our belts and, like usual, my voice is shot! It was an exciting day to meet all of my new students. I decided to do something a little different on the first day of school since I knew students would be listening to class policies and procedures all day long. I definitely weaved that into the discussion today because it is important to lay the groundwork for the year on the first day, but also found some time to get students communicating with their neighbors and sharing their opinions on some items for class this year. I asked students to answer the topic on the poster boards one at a time. After they came up with an answer, they discussed their thoughts with their seatmate. After a few minutes of discussion, one of the students took their sticky notes and placed them on the poster board. After all the sticky notes were on the poster board (each class is in a different color), I opened up the discussion to the class to get feedback. It was good to get the kids talking on day one and to hear their thoughts on the following topics:
1. I learn the best/most when...
2. Our classroom should be ________________ every day.
3. My goal for math is...
I will be posting these throughout the room as a reminder for the remainder of the school year. I will be posting the 'I learn the best/most when..." in my office so I can reflect on their thoughts and try to tailor the environment to meet their needs. I look forward to learning more about my students as the first week progresses and creating a beneficial learning environment for the students in all of my classes.
My Multimedia students will get a chance to do a similar exercise with the sticky notes on Thursday and Friday. I have many duplicate students between Math and Multimedia so I didn't want them to feel like they were doing the same thing in both of my classes. We spent the first day discussing class policies and expectations, learning students' names, discussing the responsibilities of the 3-Headed Multimedia Monster (announcements, online newspaper, and yearbook - more to come on these in a later blog post), and touring the new technology and classroom spaces designed for the SMS Multimedia Crew.
I look forward to another successful year working with the 2013-2014 SMS Multimedia Crew!