Any cool ideas?
Julie - posted on 07/13/2009
I teach 7th graders. After a brief intro, I let the kids do a gallery walk around my room where I have pictures of myself at the same age, my family, favorite things, my summer vacation, etc... Also, I try to have on display momentos like my yearbooks, old report cards, artwork, etc... It reminds the kids that I am a person with a history, family, friends, and a life outside of school. They often don't realize that we have a life. In fact, sometimes I think they believe we are hung up on a hanger and placed in a closet at the end of the day! :o)
Karen - posted on 07/10/2009
I have my kids (5th grade, though we did this at an in-service and the teachers loved it) break into pairs (or you could do groups) and tell them to create the best paper airplane they can. My only requirement is that they must use a one-inch piece of tape, one paper clip, and the entire sheet of paper ( I have my students come up and collect these items...cafeteria style). I give them three minutes to gather their supplies and make their airplanes. After the time is up, we compete to see whose airplane travels the furthest (I let them practice throwing for a bit before we actually compete). After everyone is done, we discuss how we work in groups and anything else they learned from the experience. Then I tell them that it is now MY turn. I tape the paperclip down in the center of the paper. Then I wad up the paper into a ball. Finally, I throw the airplane ball. After doing that, I ask the class what did they learn new this time. I tell my class that you sometimes need to think creatively or out-of-the-box. My students are encouraged to be more creative in solving problems and in their writing when I recreate my paper airplane ball throughout the year.
Mandee - posted on 07/08/2009
I always do an activity the first day back. No intros, no syllabus, no books. I teach math, so I might play a game with numbers. I know a science teacher who does a lab the first day back. You could make the students create a skit about their summer or something like that. On day 2, I get into all the "school stuff". The kids seem to enjoy the change of pace on the first day.
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