Take 10 minutes to create name tents and keep these on their desks for the first few weeks of school. I will set out white paper, markers, and stickers for students to decorate name tents to put on their desk each day for at least the first few weeks of school so we can all learn each other’s names. The name tents will be kept in their math binders from day to day.
My middle school is beginning our second year of Leader in Me based on the 7 habits of highly effective people. All of our elementary schools are also Leader in Me schools so the students are familiar with the 7 habits. I want to begin the year with these practices in mind and make them a part of the culture of our class. The students have a diagram of the habits in their agenda books (the school supplies each student with an agenda book that also contains our student handbook) and I will ask them to open their books to this diagram. The first three habits are for encouraging a “Private Victory” so students are organized, successful, and less stressed out. I will begin with the PowerPoint to demonstrate the three habits that make the private victory. I will discuss the private victory and why we want to achieve this victory (less stress, a good feeling of “being on top of it,” not forgetful and reactive to situations or people.) I will pass out the goal sheets and explain that this is the first page of the data notebook. I will also explain that these should be realistic goals that the student is committed to attaining and limit the goals to two maximum for any category. I will allow about 10 – 15 minutes for students to think and write about their goals, thoughtfully.
As part of the private victory putting first things first, I will begin a habit today that will continue every Monday of every week. I will give students 5 minutes to open their agenda books and “schedule” the big rocks for their week. In order to introduce this activity, I will show the 5 minute video of Steven Covey using this activity in a seminar (big container and dump small rocks in then give big rocks and try to force them all in the same container without sticking out the top. Then gave her a second container and moved big rocks in first then poured all the small rocks over them and it all fit. Big rocks are you “must do” activities and the little rocks are all the other things people ask you to do).
The second phase of the Leader in Me is the public victory, which is how students interact with each other. I will pass out the public victory sheet and explain the difference between private and public victory. Students must have private victory to be mentally and emotionally stable enough to contribute to a public victory. We are a team in this class and everyone will be partnered with someone and that someone will change from time to time. We need to set some expectations for our interactions based on these three successful habits. The homework assignment is to complete the expectations sheet and come in prepared to share ideas tomorrow for class wide expectations for the year.