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StartIng the School Year


Getting Started and Getting to A

Know Each Other

Why should you care about how you


Overview Materials

Students are immersed into the learning procedures, •“Get an Autograph”

theories, and classroom behaviors that will be used for sheet (1 per student)
the coming school year. •Visuals A1-A7
•Master A1: Role
Preview Students meet/greet each other in an autograph Cards
activity •Student Access to
desktop publishing
Activity In a Visual Discovery, students will analyze a software
series of images related to the class including OR
expectations and a preview of activities to come. •Plain paper, glue
sticks, and colored
Processing Students will create a notebook cover which pencils.
shares some details about themselves.

In the course of this lesson and participating classroom
activity, students will
• analyze the importance of knowing each other in a
collaborative atmosphere
• describe the expectations for behavior in class.
• explain how following directions and having respect for
one another will make for a better class experience.

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right 1

Suggested time: 10 minutes

1. Greet Students at the Door. Make sure to introduce

yourself to each student as they enter class. Begin
now learning their names and creating an inviting
atmosphere in your class.

2. Have students complete “Get An Autograph.”

Distribute “Get An Autograph” sheet to each student
as they enter into class.

3. Explain the importance of knowing each other.

Tell students that they will be working with each
other throughout the year in various grouping “Get An Autograph”
configurations. It will be important to know each Handout
other well to build trust and mutual respect.

Visual Discovery
Suggested time: 20 minutes

1. Explain the visual discovery to class. Invite the

students to analyze Visual A1 of students engaged in
class. Challenge the students to answer the following
• What do you see in this image?
• What are the students doing?
• What is the role of the teacher?
• How would you describe the level of attention from
the students?
• What classroom expectations do you think are
present to allow this activity to take place?
Visual A1
2. Introduce the classroom expectations to students.
Have students review your classroom expectations or
rules . Tell the students that the next series of images
in class will depict an activity they will do this year.
Each image will contain a clue to one of the three
classroom expectations that will be highlighted.
Their job is to figure out which classroom expectation
is highlighted.

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right 2

3. Project image of Visual A2: Students Working in

Pairs. Encourage the students to carefully analyze
Visual A2.
• Challenge students to discuss with a neighbor what
students are doing.
• Have students stand up and point (from their seats) to
an example of respect being shown in the image. Visual A2
• Encourage students to discuss in small groups what
might happen next (between the pair with a yellow
dot) if one of the pair were disrespectful. What Image Suggestion
would the next picture look like?
• Project Visual A3 and stress to students how Swap out the images used
important it is that they be respectful of one another in the Slide Share
and you as their teacher. Generous respect will allow document for images of
actual activities you will
for trust to build in class and a greater diversity of do in class. Try to
activities in class. include an image that
would also include you.

4. Project image of Visual A4: Students Teasing at

• Have students take out a scrap piece of paper and
draw, using stick figures, a rough sketch of this
• Tell the students to add a speech or thought bubble to
each student in the picture with what they think the
Visual A4
student would be saying or thinking.
• Encourage a few students to share their image;
pointing out examples where the yellow dotted Going Digital
student is saying something related to a put-down or Suggestion
• Project Visual A5 and stress to the students how Use
important it is that everyone be respectful and to be and have the students
text in what they think is
very careful not to tease in a way that is hurtful.
being thought or said by
• Ask the students for some examples of playful and one of the pictured
okay teasing vs. hurtful comments. What is the students. Choose a few
difference? examples to be

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right 3

5. Project image of Visual A6: Students Engaged in

Group Activity.
• Conduct an Act-it-Out with the students by having
some volunteers “step into” the image and assume the
role of an individual pictured.
• Pass out role cards to participating students. Have
students review their role card carefully and if
necessary, use it as their script when selected to Visual A6
“come to life” by the teacher.
• Explain to the rest of the class that the actors in front
will become a talking statue when touched by you.
The characters will come to life and share a thought,
suggestion, or reaction to something that just
• Make sure that the student actors understand that they
are to follow the directions on Act-it-Out Role Cards
when they are tapped by you. One by one, tap each
student with a role card. Start with the student who Master A1: Role Cards
has Role Card A, and progress in order from there.
Move quickly through the students so the scene
unfolds naturally as it would in class.
• After the act-it-out, ask the class to identify where the
group activity started to go wrong. What was the
point of disruption? What would be the
consequences? How would it be different if the
person dotted in yellow reacted differently? Project
Visual A7 and review.

6. Summarize the Rules for Class. Have the students

get into a large circle. Have each student use a word
to describe something they think of when they think
about the classroom expectations based on today.

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right 4

Suggested time: 10 minutes to start in class; homework

1. Pass out materials for notebook coversheet.

Explain that in the next lesson, students will learn
about the Interactive Student Notebook (or ISN).
They will learn the procedures as well as do the initial

2. Show students a sample cover sheet. Using a

previous student or your own, show the students a
sample notebook including a custom cover.

3. Challenge the students to create a cover for their

own notebook. Using the materials you’ve brought
or alternately using tech resources, have the students
create a custom cover for their notebook that includes
the following information:
• Their name prominently sized
• Bell or Period
• School Appropriate images that would highlight 2-3
interests or hobbies.

Sample Notebook

Going Digital
Have students use digital
publishing tools to create
their notebook cover.
PowerPoint, Photoshop,
or others are excellent

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right 5
Get the Autograph of Someone Who...
For each of the 35 categories below, find someone in the class who fits the description. Before you get
his or her autograph, you must shake the person’s hand and introduce yourself (“Hello, my name is . . . ”)
and ask one question about the item the person is signing. For example, for the first category about leaving
the state, you might ask, “Where did you go?” You are allowed only two signatures from the same person.
You will have to circulate throughout the classroom.

1. Has left the state over the summer_______________________________________________________

2. Has the same shoe size as you __________________________________________________________
3. Likes to watch football _______________________________________________________________
4. Likes to draw _______________________________________________________________________
5. Plays a musical instrument ______________________ ______________________________________
6. Has been to a play ___________________________________________________________________
7. Has had braces ______________________________________________________________________
8. Is wearing jeans _____________________________________________________________________
9. Is in another class with you ____________________________________________________________
10. Is new to this school _________________________________________________________________
11. Is from a different ethnic group than you _________________________________________________
12. Has traveled to another country ________________________________________________________
13. Has the same color eyes as you ________________________________________________________
14. Likes to read in bed _________________________________________________________________
15. Was born outside the United States _____________________________________________________
16. Likes to dance ______________________________________________________________________
17. Has a hair style different from yours ____________________________________________________
18. Is much taller than you _______________________________________________________________
19. You have never spoken to before _______________________________________________________
20. Loves history _______________________________________________________________________
21. Dislikes history _____________________________________________________________________
22. Has been surfing or ice skating _________________________________________________________
23. Likes the outdoors ___________________________________________________________________
24. Has more than two brothers and sisters ___________________________________________________
25. Is an only child _____________________________________________________________________
26. Likes to sing ________________________________________________________________________
27. Speaks another language ______________________________________________________________
28. Likes the same TV show as you_________________________________________________________
29. Likes to swim _______________________________________________________________________
30. Was born in the same month as you _____________________________________________________
31. Has ridden a bike over 25 miles in one day _ ______________________________________________
32. Knows how to sew ___________________________________________________________________
33. Chews gum ________________________________________________________________________
34. Likes broccoli _______________________________________________________________________
35. Plays on a sports team ________________________________________________________________

140 Bring Learning Alive!

Visual A1
Visual A2: Students Working in Pairs
Visual A3

Everyone, including
the teacher, will be
treated with respect.
Visual A4: Students Teasing at Table
Visual A5

Put-downs or
purposely hurtful
comments or actions
will not be tolerated.
Visual A6: Students Engaged in Group Activity
Visual A7

No one will be
allowed to disrupt
the learning process
of others.
Master A1

Role Card A – Yellow Dotted Student Role Card B – Friend of Yellow Dotted
You are watching another group present
to the rest of the class. One of the During the middle of your group’s
students is your best friend. When presentation, your friend interrupted.
tapped by the teacher, say the following: When tapped by the teacher laugh
hysterically and exaggerated until you
“I told my friend _____ , in the middle of are tapped again and stop abruptly.
their presentation, that she looked crazy.”

Role Card C – Another Group Role Card D – Another Group

Member Presenting Member Presenting

During the middle of your group’s During the middle of your group’s
presentation, a classmate interrupted. presentation, a classmate interrupted.
When tapped by the teacher share the When tapped by the teacher share the
following: “Just wait until their group following: “This is embarrassing, I’m not
goes, I’ll do the same thing to them. See doing this anymore! I’d rather read a long
how they like that!” chapter and do a worksheet.”

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