I will 100% own the title of Slacker when it comes to this blog right now. But, I’m focusing my “A-game energy” in the classroom these days. My room will be full come Monday morning, but for now, I’m loving all the organizing, decorating, and planning that the teacher work week allows. The beginning of another school year brings SO much potential and so much energy. It is, for sure, one of the best times of the year!
This isn’t much (and the idea is NOT completely mine – much of this actually came from my blog friend Megan who is too busy taking care of a new baby to blog lately), but today I thought I’d share how I use internet memes to go over my syllabus and class rules on the first day and – at least attempt – to keep the kids’ attention.
Below are the slides from my first day of school power point, and the link for the complete download is at the very bottom. I use the same presentation in all three of my classes and simply adapt it each year as things change etc. The general organization follows my syllabus exactly, but I find that the kids pay a lot more attention to this than when I just project it up on the screen for them to follow along… I also print a few of my most favorite memes to include on the “Class Rules” bulletin board and other strategic spots around the room. (See more in last year’s room tour.)
So, here you go:
You probably already guessed this, but I’m kind-of an open book with my students… I think it’s only fair to share a little about myself (and my credentials) with them before I ask them to share about themselves, so I usually include a brief “About Me” slide at the very beginning. Then…
This will be new this year, after I found the idea on Pinterest over the summer. Basically, using the model found at www.sixwordmemoirs.com, I’m giving every student a blank index card on the first day of school to write their own Six Word Memoir. Then, I’ve left an entire bulletin board blank for them to “post” them as a form of introduction to me and each other. (I like that this is simple and not time consuming, but switches things up a bit from the normal “two truths and a lie” activity I’ve done in the past.)
Now, on the “meat” – I mean memes…
The Missing Work Log is my most popular “teaching idea” on the web. It was introduced to me by a veteran teacher during my intern days, and I have successfully used it in my own classroom for seven years now. It is a GREAT tool – so so helpful for keeping track of late/missing work, staying in touch with parents about zeros, and keeping records for conferences, etc. Check out this post for a downloadable copy and more details about how I use it.
There you go. Our schedule is shortened on the first day so classes are about 45 minutes long. Including the “6 Word Memoir” activity, time to hand out paper copies of syllabus, and time to answer questions at the end – this takes almost exactly the whole block.
If you’d like to use/adapt this powerpoint for yourself, feel free to download it right here – Back to School PP.
And, for some more ideas for setting up your classroom, etc. see these posts:
What do you do on the first day of school?!?