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The First Week of School

Lindsey S. Olson
Teaching in the Secondary Schools
Dr. Barbara Elvecrog
Day One
Before Class and very first moments (5 minutes)
I. My classroom is clearly labeled with my name and the name(s) of the class,
period and grade may also be included if necessary.
II. My name is written clearly on the board so students know if they are in the correct
III. “Welcome” is written in every first language spoken by the student.
IV. As students filter in I will stand at the door, greet students, and tell them to please
stand at the back of the room so I can give them their first seating chart.
V. Show students their assigned desks, explain that the chart is preliminary and
likely to change in the first week or two.

Activity One: Meet the Teacher (10 minutes)

I. Show the students three to five props that connect to my life.
a. Examples: A picture of my family, a passport, a cookbook, a fiction book
II. Have the students look over the items and think about what they say about my
life. Ask students to predict what they mean.
III. Finally, introduce myself and explain how the items connect to my life.
IV. Assign first homework requirement: students must bring in 2-3 items that tell us a
little about their lives. Discuss ideas of things students can bring in.

Activity Two: Teacher in the Hot Seat (5 minutes)

I. Allow students to ask questions about me, the upcoming year, or the school.

Activity Three: Student Information Card (8-10 minutes)

I. Hand out large index cards.
II. On one side of the card ask students to write their name, preferred name, home
phone number, birthday, parent’s name, favorite hobby and goal for this year.
III. On the other side of the card, ask students to write anything else they would like
me to know about them and what characteristics they like in teachers.
IV. Call the students up alphabetically to collect the cards and place in a recipe box.

Activity Four: Introduction to Classroom Procedures (15 minutes)

I. Lay out expectations for how students will enter the classroom and what supplies
they need to have with them.
II. Ring chimes or other noise making device and explain this will be your signal for
students to bring their attention to the front of the room.
a. Practice
III. Discuss homework, show students where homework assignments will be posted
a. Within the classroom
b. Online
IV. Explain policy regarding late homework
a. How many days do students have to hand it in?
b. How much credit will they receive? (Follow school wide policy if there is
Explain bathroom break policy (1-2 per quarter unless medical condition requires
V. How I will deal with tardiness (follow school-wide procedure)

Closure: (3 minutes)
I. Ask students to write me a note telling me if they are confused or concerned about
any of the procedures discussed.
II. Students may talk with their neighbors.
III. Remind students to bring in props to discuss themselves (should also be written
on homework board)

Day Two
Opener: Roll Call and Name Memorization (5 minutes
I. Ask students if anyone can name everyone in the room.
II. Give a few students a chance, applaud all who know every name
III. Talk about 18-second rule, have students focus on a student for 18 seconds while
you slowly do roll call.
IV. As you call each name, ask student to volunteer information about themselves
(favorite movie, food, book)
Activity One: Meet your classmate through props (25 minutes)
I. As student’s walk in the door, greet them and ask them if they have their props
II. If they do not, give them a pass to go to their locker and get a couple things that
relate to their life. OR Give them a couple of pieces of paper to draw things while
you take roll call.
III. After roll call, assign students to work in pairs.
IV. Ask students to:
a. Introduce themselves with their preferred name.
b. Explain what each of the objects are
c. Where the objects came from.
d. How the objects relate to their life.
V. Encourage partner to ask questions to get more information about the object.
VI. Model the types of questions necessary if the English level is very low.
VII. Switch partners and do the same.
VIII. Ask each student to introduce their partner to the room and explain how ONE of
the objects is important to the student.
IX. While student is speaking, I will be compiling a list of mistakes to be addressed
later on.
X. Applaud after each student speaks.
Activity Two: Classroom Procedures Review Game (5 minutes)
I. One the board, have the classroom procedures listed but written with incorrect
II. Combine the partner pairs into groups of four.
III. Ask each group to re-write the correct classroom procedure.
IV. Have a small prize or applause for the group that was able to write the most
correct classroom procedures.
Activity Three: Introduction to Classroom Organization (10 minutes)
I. Give students a guided tour of the room. Show students where pencils, pens,
looseleaf paper, and the pencil sharpener are.
II. Show students where you want them to pick up books and/or portfolios when they
enter the room
III. Ask students to return to their desks and, working alone or with a partner, sketch a
plan of the room and label where the important features are located.

Day Three
Activity One: Classroom Organization Review and Community Building (10
I. After attendance, have 4 sets of labels marked with classroom areas and supplies I
introduced the previous day.
II. Divide the students into groups of four.
a. If time permits, let them choose a team name.
III. Using relay race format, call out a name on a label, and have one student from
each group come to the front, grab a label, and place it in the correct area.
IV. Give the fastest team one point if the area is correctly labeled.
V. Applaud or have a small prize for the winning team.
Activity Two: Classroom Rules (25 minutes) SEE HANDOUT
I. Introduce my three rules for the classroom.
a. Respect others
b. Respect the school
c. Do not interfere with another’s learning
II. Break student’s into pairs
III. On the rules hand-out, have students list more specific ideas/regulations that
fit within the three classroom rules
IV. After 10 minutes, have students list their specific ideas on the Smart
V. Discuss each idea as a class, can you agree to this?
VI. Copy/print out collaborative rules
Activity Three: Language-Simplified Learning Styles Survey. (15 minutes) SEE
I. Hand out a learning styles survey that I have created with simplified English, if
II. Give students 10 minutes to complete.
III. Model how to total the survey.
IV. Together, read and discuss the different learning styles.
V. Collect the surveys for future lesson planning.
Homework: Students must bring a textbook from one of their classes to my class on
Day 4.
Day Four
Activity One: Review Classroom Rules and common grammar mistakes.
(15 minutes)
I. Create a handout the rules developed by the class.
II. From your list of grammatical mistakes compiled on Day 2, write the rules using
the same types of errors.
III. Give students 10 minutes to read the handout and fix mistakes.
IV. Discuss the found grammar mistakes and make corrections together on board.
V. Finally, have each student read the correct rule aloud to the class.
VI. Ask comprehension questions (Ex) Can I call out my ideas whenever they come
to me?
VII. Ask student to sign each corrected handout as an agreement that they will follow
the classroom rules. Keep on file in case of situations that require disciplinary
Activity Two: What we have in common (10 minutes)
I. Put the students into random groups of four.
II. Tell students they have to find things they have in common. If necessary:
a. Model concept of commonalities.
b. Model language structures needed to ask questions and respond positively
or negatively.
III. Give them five minutes to discuss their lives and look for things they have in
IV. Model language needed to report commonalities, if necessary.
V. Have one representative report for the entire group. OR, have each person in the
group list one thing they have in common.
VI. Applaud each group.
Activity Three: Using your textbooks efficiently (25 minutes) SEE HANDOUT
I. Hand out Textbook Feature Analysis graphic organizer.
II. Using my own textbook, or an online textbook shown on the smart board,
demonstrate how I will look through a textbook to learn how it is organized.
III. Empahsize second language learner sections (glossary, illustrations)
IV. Give students time to fill out graphic organizer
V. Circulate and discuss any questions that students may have.

Closure (5 minutes):
I. Hand out a post it note to each student.
II. Ask them to chose one of the following four categories
a. This week, I learned…
b. This week, I was surprised by…
c. This week, I wish we could have…
d. This week, I still wonder about…
III. Give students time to chose one category and write something following the
IV. Have student place in a corresponding square on the overhead.
V. Wish students a great weekend and tell them I am excited for next week!
Classroom Rules Handout

Directions: Please think of sub-rules that would fit within our broad classroom rules.

Respect Yourself and Respect School Facilities Allow the classroom to be

Others a place for learning

Example: Listen to all

opinions with an open mind
Language Simplified Learning Styles Survey


_____ Hiking and camping are enjoyable activities.

_____ I enjoy working on a garden.
_____ I believe that saving parks parks is important.
_____ I enjoy watching the seasons change.
_____ Animals are important in my life.
_____ I recycle at home.
_____ I spend a great deal of time outdoors.



_____ I easily see on patterns.

_____ I focus on noise and sounds.
_____ Moving to a beat is easy for me.
_____ I’ve always been interested in playing an instrument.
_____ I remember things by putting them in rhyme.
_____ Concentration is difficult while listening to a radio
or television.
_____ I enjoy many different kinds of music.
_____ Musicals are more interesting than regular dramatic
_____ Remembering song lyrics is easy for me.



_____ I keep my things neat and orderly.

_____ Step-by-step directions are a big help.
_____ Solving problems comes easily to me.
_____ I get frustrated with disorganized people.
_____ I can complete calculations quickly in my head.
_____ Puzzles requiring reasoning are fun.
_____ I can’t begin an assignment until all my questions
are answered.
_____ Structure helps me be successful.
_____ Things have to make sense to me or I am dissatisfied.


_____ I enjoy discussing questions about life.
_____ Religion is important to me.
_____ I enjoy viewing art masterpieces.
_____ Relaxation and mediation exercises are rewarding.
_____ I like visiting beautiful sites in nature.
_____ I wonder if there are other forms of intelligent life
in the universe.
_____ Studying history and ancient culture helps give me


Section 5
_____ I learn best interacting with others.
_____ The more the merrier.
_____ Study groups are very productive for me.
_____ I enjoy chat rooms.
_____ Participating in politics is important.
_____ Television and radio talk shows are enjoyable.
_____ I am a "team player".
_____ I dislike working alone.
_____ Clubs and extracurricular activities are fun.
_____ I pay attention to social issues and causes.


Section 6
_____ I enjoy making things with my hands.
_____ Sitting still for long periods of time is difficult
for me.
_____ I enjoy outdoor games and sports.
_____ I value non-verbal communication such as sign
_____ A fit body is important for a fit mind.
_____ Arts and crafts are enjoyable pastimes.
_____ I like working with tools.
_____ I live an active lifestyle.
_____ I learn by doing.


Section 7
_____ I enjoy reading all kinds of materials.
_____ Taking notes helps me remember and understand.
_____ I contact friends through letters and e-mail.
_____ It is easy for me to explain my ideas to others.
_____ I keep a journal.
_____ Word puzzles like crosswords and jumbles are fun.
_____ I write for pleasure.
_____ Foreign languages interest me.
_____ Debates and public speaking are activities I like to
participate in.


Section 8
_____ I learn best when I have an emotional attachment to
the subject.
_____ Fairness is important to me.
_____ My attitude affects how I learn.
_____ Social justice issues concern me.
_____ Working alone can be just as productive as working in
a group.
_____ I need to know why I should do something before I
agree to do it.
_____ When I believe in something I will give 100% effort
to it.
_____ I like to be involved in causes that help others.


Section 9
_____ I can imagine ideas in my mind as images.
_____ Rearranging a room is fun for me.
_____ I enjoy creating art using varied media.
_____ I remember well when I use graphic organizers.
_____ Performance art can be very gratifying.
_____ Spreadsheets are great for making charts, graphs and
_____ Three dimensional puzzles bring me much enjoyment.
_____ Music videos are very stimulating.
_____ I can recall things in mental pictures.
_____ I am good at reading maps and blueprints.


Textbook Features Analysis

Types of Text
1. Skim through the book and
make a list of all the
different documents or types
of texts you will have to
read (include graphs and

2. Find examples of sidebars.
What kinds of information
appear in the boxes? Are they
the same throughout the book?

3. Find examples of different
styles of type. Example: bold
or italicized words or

4. Does the book use color to
convey information? Example:
What does it mean when you
see words that are
highlighted in yellow?

Symbols and Icons

5. Does the book use symbols
or icons to give information?
Make a list of icons used and
what the text wants you to do
when you see a certain icon.

Images and Graphics

6. What kind of information
is printed next to
illustrations or images? How
is the image identified?
Example: Figure 4.5
7. Imagine you have to
prepare for a big test. What
parts of the book would help
you do that? (Think beyond
any study questions)

8. After looking at this
book, you may have concerns
or questions. Make a list of
those to be discussed with
your classmates and/or

Graphic organizer adapted from: