This year we have learned how to look at the school day and routine unconventionally. Many of us have had multiple ‘first days of school’ bouncing from face-to-face to remote, both, and back again. Although it isn’t the FIRST first week, this First Week Favorites Unit is meant to take care of a start fresh school reset. With the activities below, it is easy and fun to reset and refresh the rules and routines.
Start Fresh Favorites
Not only will you find terrific and engaging ways to review your routines and rules, but you’ll do so in ways that promote a caring community and promote team building and friendship along the way!
The unit begins with 7 class meetings ready to go. Discussion/scenario cards make it easy to set expectations and discuss model behavior in a morale-boosting way. Most of these lessons can be broken up into smaller lessons so you really have at least two weeks of review material here! My favorite is one is how to be a great partner. This helps to reinforce good partner behavior and it allows students to work with new people this second semester.
Next, there’s SO MUCH needed when remembering, reviewing, and practicing routines. Keep your class productive, engaged, and learning no matter how much time you have. With community and expectations at the forefront, the activities provided will give you a safety net of learning for all of the minutes of the day. From quick and simple, to more involved, there’s a variety of tiered activities for you to choose from. Building teamwork while learning is important all throughout the year. These tiered activities will ensure that students continue to build new friendships during the learning for the remainder of the school year.
No matter what time of year, cafeteria expectations always need a refresher! There are many cafeteria expectations posters provided to help you review those expectations.
JUST THE BASICS!
When heading back, I always like to ease students in with a content review. These activities allow students some quiet independent time. To break up the amount of time spent talking to students about rules and procedures, get some basic skills practice in! Play some smooth jazz or instrumental music while students have some work time with their tablemates.
I chose to organize the materials into a binder (um hello, look at me doing one of my new year resolutions–to get organized!). This allows me to grab what I need in a jiffy. It’s like a little life-saving notebook. I used sheet protectors, pocket dividers, and a one-inch binder.
As students set new year goals for reading, math, writing, and general school procedures, make a keepsake book for a record of learning. Although this version has a backpack on the front, the cover could be anything: the new year date, a star, a target, a goal post…really anything that goes with resolutions and goals. This is a great way for students to make their goals and aspirations visible and concrete.
This is such an exciting time of the school year. Students are more mature, they are growing up, and reviewing rules and procedures can be comforting and fun. Hopefully, with First Week Favorites in your resources, you’ll be able to make this the best year yet! For more posts on setting up for the beginning of the school year, click here.