There is no Day 1 post due to the chaotic first day of anythingness...yep new word! The first day consisted of a shorter schedule due to an assembly, and OMGoodness we have WAY more students here than we anticipated what are we going to do!?!?
The idea was that two of our certified teachers would teach rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders ELA, Math, and PE. While I would teach the 6th grade (ELA, Math, welcome to middle school and team building) self contained. I guess the idea of "welcome to middle school" took off, we had 50+ students show up and are continuing to show up! Fortunately the superintendent showed up today and immediately went to the Cabinet and they approved us for an additional teacher. I guess it's a great problem to have!
What does a classroom with fifty or so students you ask?!
The first day consisted of taking our pretests, of course. I also had them make their own name plate, because as I informed them it was going to be difficult to memorize ALL their names in such a short amount of time. I also like having them make name plates because we added other information on them as well. In the middle they wrote their first name, top left: favorite color, top right: favorite movie, bottom left: person that has inspired them, bottom right: birth month. I use the name plates to help form groups (same birth month, same favorite color) as well as a few "get to know you" conversations.
One activity the students completed was Get to Know You BINGO. This is not a new activity, but this time I chose to use a BINGO card with a few more "difficult" boxes. You can find the lessons here. Prior to giving them the cards I let them know that some of the boxes had a few more challenging questions. We talked about being respectful and understanding. This of course got them even more interested.
My rules were: you could only sign one box per card (I wouldn't be allowed to sign 4 boxes on my friend Sally's card), you could not sign your own card, we played blackout!
When we finished the activity (time was up before BINGO was called) we returned to the classroom, and had great discussions about things they found out as they were talking to each other. Some of the responses were simple and some very deep. I was very proud of how respectful they were of each other's feelings and thoughts.
Another activity we completed was a simple Snowball.
Each student took out a clean piece of notebook paper
On the paper they wrote one thing they were scared/nervous about as they started middle school
Once they wrote their response they wadded the paper up
We stood in a circle and then threw the papers to the middle
I called a group at a time to pick up one of the papers and read it quietly to themselves
We returned to our seats and then shared with the whole group what was on the paper
I wrote their concerns on the board, when we were done I did my best to discuss and address their fears/concerns.
We were able to get another teacher for day 3 and the remainder of the program! We split this large group into two, but will continue to follow the same lesson plans. I'm pretty excited as to what the next few weeks bring!
Now if they could just get the air fixed I will be one happy camper...105 outside makes it pretty stuffy in the classrooms!