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Starting the School Year...

This document represents the strategies, activities, and resources I w i l l use at the start of the school year
in order to set up a positive and effective learning environment. I will demonstrate the ways in which I

1. Get to know my students: (e.g., their interests, backgrounds, experiences, skills)

 Student interest survey (LP 1)
i. This survey provides me with concrete information about my students’
likes, dislikes, interests, learning styles, commitments, and backgrounds. I
will use this to determine base group groupings and areas to build
instruction around.
 Diagnostic writing (LP 1)
i. This gives me information about where students are coming from as well
as giving me an initial sample of their writing. They will share personal
details that create a window into the types of students and people they are.
 ‘Who is it’ game (LP 3)
i. This game is a fun way to get students connecting with me and with each
other and establishing their unique places in the classroom. They will each
provide 5 facts about themselves that get increasingly unique and
illuminate their quirks and accomplishments.
 Snowball fight (LP 1)
i. Another introductory game to get students engaging with one another as
soon as they get in the classroom. They will have to ask each other
questions to find their partners and then introduce each other to the class
and to me. I will gain knowledge of their interests and experiences through
peer introduction.
 Classroom Meeting (LP 1)
i. Maybe the best way to get to know my students is by establishing
classroom meeting as a safe space to share and get to know about the
interests and experiences of my students.
2. Build Community: (i.e., create the environment where my students will be respected by one another as
valuable learning resources and be best situated for learning)
 Home Court (LP 2)
i. Sets the precedent that we are all one team working to make the classroom
the best it can be for everyone.
 Student established norms (LP 1 & 2)
i. Students play an active role in establishing the norms they want for the
classroom. This encourages autonomy and personal investment in
engaging with the classroom community.
 Classroom Meeting (LP 1 & Ongoing)
i. Establishes a safe space to get to know each other and share interests, as
well as a space where any issues can be addressed.
 Common Thread (LP 2)
i. Helps students see the ways they are connected to and different from their
classmates. Let’s them explore their identities in conjunction with the
identities within our classroom community.

3. Convey expectations: (i.e., how will the students know what is expected from them behaviorally,
academically, and socially in the classroom? What kinds of routines will there be in place—e.g., “Do Now’s,”
“SSR,” “Workshop time,” ”cell phone breaks,” etc.)
 Present expectations and develop class norms (LP 1& 2)
i. Be transparent and explicit with students about expectations and
 Minilesson on active listening (LP 3)
i. Provide students with opportunities to practice putting norms into action
immediately and consistently. This is followed by a self assessment to
help them hold themselves accountable.
 Individuals goals for reading and writing (LP 3)
i. By cultivating a classroom built on growth mindsets, students will set
goals to reach academic expectations
4. Develop routines: (rationale in lesson plans)
 “If you can hear me clap once…” (LP 1)
i. This will be my routine for getting student’s attention and quieting the
classroom when I need to give instructions or transition to something new.
 Do Now when they walk in the room (LP 1)
i. We will have an entrance routine that students will follow each day to
ensure a smooth and productive start. They will enter the room, retrieve
their notebooks, and start working on their Do Now.
 Writer’s Notebooks (LP 1)
i. We will store all the Do Nows, journals, reflections, and drafts in our
writer’s notebooks.
 Active/Attentive Listening (LP 1)
i. Students will develop ideas about what this looks, sounds, and feels like
on the first day of class. We will revisit those norms consistently and
establish good listening as a routine.
 Classroom Meeting (LP 1)
i. We will need to practice transitioning into classroom meeting in order to
help it run efficiently each day and not waste class time. It will become a
routine that is seamlessly executed each day.
 Silent-Patient-Waiting (LP 2)
i. This routine is in place for students to monitor themselves during
instruction and know the protocol for raising their hands and waiting to be
called on.