See my Do Now in my Strategy folder that explains my beginning of class routines.
Often, I create do nows that have problems that connect to the task that students will be working on that day. Today I want students to review the expectation for entering class and starting the do now. If students struggle with entering quietly, they will practice again. I also want students to understand the possible consequences for misbehaving in my classroom.
After a few minutes, we come together as a class. I ask students what they did well about entering class and if there is anything they can improve on for tomorrow. Then I have a brief conversation about consequences. I have a “take a break” desk where students can go (or I can send students) to sit quietly and refocus for a minute or two. I also explain procedures for the buddy room if students need to leave the classroom. I also explain that I can give logical consequences that can include a loss of privilege or a reparation. I also explain that I will call parents to share information about student behavior. I make phone calls about positive behavior and behavior that needs to change.
I have a volunteer read our class rule about respect. I ask students to review the important aspects of a Think Write Pair Share from yesterday. Students participate in a Think Write Pair Share. I ask students to share out something their partner mentioned. I want students to start to think about concrete ways they can respect one another. Students will brainstorm more concrete ideas in the Chalk Talk activity.
I ask students why procedures are important. I want them to recognize that using procedures allows us use time efficiently and develop practices where everyone knows their role. To prepare for the Chalk Talk activity, I introduce the procedure for turning rows of desks into groups of 4. We practice this until it is quick and quiet. I introduce the Team Roles. Today, students use alphabetical order by first name to determine who is the Resource Manager, Facilitator, etc.
I review the expectations for the activity and I model how students will move from poster to poster. I also explain my two signals, “It’s time to share” and the chime.
I call groups to each poster and start the timer. As students work, I walk around and monitor student progress and behavior. When it is time, I tell students to share and when to move. We do this until each group has written on each poster.
I tell the Resource Managers to go and take the poster where their group started off the wall and bring to their group. I give students a couple minutes to silently read all of the other comments that students have added to the poster. Then I tell students to share with their group things they notice or things that stood out to them. Students are engaging in MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. I remind the Recorder/Reporter that he/she will be sharing out with the class. Each Recorder/Reporter is able to share out with the whole class.
When we are finished, I ask the Resource Managers to delegate putting away the markers and bringing the posters to me. Students turn their desks back into rows and we debrief the activity. What did we do well? What can we improve on?
For Closure I ask students to explain the procedures for the ticket to go and for dismissal. Before I pass out the ticket to go, I preview the Parent/Guardian letter that students need to read themselves and give it to their parents to read and sign. I pass out the Ticket to Go and students complete it silently.
When I taught this lesson to my first section, it was clear to me that I had over-planned. I ended up changing this lesson into two 50 minute blocks. It is very important that students understand expectations and procedures so that they are set up for success for the rest of the year. I felt that if I had taught this lesson as one block, I would have rushed and skipped over practice opportunities.
First, my students needed extra practice on how to line up, enter my classroom, and begin the do now. With each section, I explained the expectations when they were outside my classroom and then welcomed them in. Some students entered loudly or began talking with friends, so we lined up outside and did it again. While students were working on the do now, I walked around and put a stamp on students' papers who were following directions and working hard. Then students shared out their ideas. I also had to teach students where the take a break table was in my class and what I expected students to do when they took a break. All of these measures lengthened the do now to take 15 minutes. My goal is that students will quickly learn the beginning of class routines and we will cut down this time significantly.
Second, the think pair shares for the three quotes took longer than I had planned. I started by asking students to share out the expectations about participating in a Think Pair Share, and we reviewed the scenarios I acted out in the previous lesson. For each quote, I gave students 1 1/2 minutes of thinking and writing time, 1 1/2 minutes of sharing time, and 1 1/2 minutes of sharing with the entire class. In each class, a couple students noticed that these quotes were posted in the room.
Third, I introduced the procedure for moving into groups of 4 and the team roles. Because it was the first time we talked about team roles, I wanted to make sure that students understood each job. We spent 10 minutes practicing moving and talking about the roles. Students then counted off 1-4 and I assigned all ones as resource managers, twos as facilitators, etc. We previewed the chalk talk activity that they would do in the next block. We reviewed the procedure for packing up and leaving class and each class had to practice this twice.
For the second block, I created an additional do now. Some sections did need to practice entering the classroom correctly. Entering class, completing the do now, and sharing the do now took 10 minutes. Again, I want students to understand the routine and demonstrate it correctly. This takes time in the beginning of the year, but it will pay off and will prevent us from wasting time throughout the year.
We quickly reviewed the procedure for moving into groups and each job's responsibilities. Students moved into groups and I previewed the Chalk Talk activity. I added "Looks Like" and "Sounds Like" sections to each poster. I think this helped students think specifically about each question. In one section, I have a co-teacher with my special education students and in other sections I have a teacher assistant. Included these teachers in the poster questions.
Instead of posting the posters on the wall, I had groups sit at their desks and work on a poster. Because this was the first time in groups, I broke down the work into small sections. After the facilitator read the prompt, I had students sit silently and think about the prompt for 30 seconds. Then I gave students 1 1/2 minutes to talk and record. When that time was up, I rang the chime for students to be silent. I explained where the resource manager was going to take the poster and the resource managers rotated posters (instead of the students moving). This way, the transition was faster and involved less people moving. Then the process started over again. This look about 25 minutes, including transitions.
Once groups received their original poster, they read over the additions. I told groups that the recorder/reporter was going to share out 2 observations about what groups' wrote with the class. I gave groups 2 minutes to decide on their observations. Then each group sent 3 people to the front of the class with their poster (the recorder/reporter and two people to hold the poster). I told the recorders/reporters that they were responsible to get the class' attention by using the quiet sign. I stressed that they should not begin until they had the class' full attention. This shifted responsibility from me to the students. Each recorder/reporter shared their groups' observations and then we gave them a clap. For fun, we gave each group a different clap (round of applause, thunderclap, jazz hands, etc). This was a fun, quick way to recognize students. Prepping and presenting took 10 minutes total.
With the last five minutes, students moved their desks back to their original positions. We reviewed the passing out paper and ticket to go procedures. Students completed their tickets to go silently and independently. Students passed in their tickets to go and we reviewed the lining up procedure.