Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Day Checklist

Here are a few more things to think about before the first day of school.

Please discuss things with your partner and make mutual decisions.

1. What will you use as your signal to get the children's attention? Flashing the lights, ringing a bell, singing a song, raising your hand and expecting them to do the same, etc.?

2. How will you choose a student helper the first day of school, to do things like lead the flag salute, take the attendance and lunch count folders to the office, help pass out papers, etc.?

3. Where will your students line up after recess and lunch? Will you have one line or two? Alphabetical order or whoever gets there first?

4. What is your policy about excusing children to go to the restroom during instructional time? (preschoolers *all* need to go to the bathroom as soon as you let the first child leave, so be sure you've decided how to handle this :)

5. What type of behavior reinforcement/positive discipline plan are you going to use?

6. What other class rules and procedures are you going to have? Be sure to have them in writing before the first day of school, and spend time the first day explaining them to your students. Realistically, you'll have to go over class rules and procedures every day for at least a week, to help your students learn your expectations. Display rules close to your whiteboard.

7. What will you do about students who consistently don't complete their work?

8. What are your policies for allowing children out of their seat during worktime? Will most of your work be assigned seatwork, or will your students spend most of their time out of their seats, doing individual and group learning activities? Will you have working groups? How are you going to break kids in groups (will it be mixed ability or ability groups?)

9. What is your plan for making sure that students who are absent are able to catch up their work? (example: one teacher had the person next to them get a yellow "We Missed You" folder and put in the absent child's blue box at the beginning of the day, so that any and all work papers can be put in the folder until the child returns to school).

10. Do you have cubbies for your students?

11. How do you want to organize the end of the day (in my classroom: one teacher is responsible for service bus students who go out from the classroom first and change their shoes, after the first group left, the second teacher takes another group of students who are picked by parents, to change their shoes… this procedures helps to escape chaos in the hall at the end of the day when children and teachers are tired enough. It also works well when both teachers have equal number of students in their groups.

12. What will your rule be about interrupting you when you are working with a student or a group? (example: students may only interrupt me for B Emergencies ... blood, bathroom, and barf :) that can be discussed with students and decided on what Emergency can be…

13. If a parent shows up unexpectedly and wants to conference with you during class time, what will you do? (We politely tell that parent that we need to be back to our classroom and let them know when I am available. Parents need to know that they can email us or call Fatos (Pre-school secretary) for an appointment. Appointments can be done during quite time (In that case ask one of your colleagues to stay in your classroom for that time), it can be recess time( try not to have appointments when it is your duty), it can be partners’ planning time.

14. What are your procedures for fire drills, etc.? Be sure to go over these procedures the first day or week, and take your students on a walking tour of the campus, showing them where they meet and line up during a fire drill, if they aren't with you when the bell goes off.

thanks to an original document:

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