The first day of school is such an important day. It will lay the foundation for the rest of the school year. Before I begin to teach math content, I spend two class periods ensuring that students know the procedures and expectations in my classroom. I feel is important to spend this time now, so that other issues do not arise later.
I always greet students at the door as they enter. For today, I also number my class roster and classroom desks. When students enter, I will hand them a number on a piece of paper that corresponds to the seat I want them to sit at to begin the year. As students are walking inside, I stress to them that I want it to be completely silent. If a student makes any noise while they enter, (this includes laughing or whispering) I will politely ask them to step into the hallway and re-do the transition inside the classroom.
I complete this entrance routine with students for the rest of the school year.For the beginning of the school year, this transitioning process will be very exaggerated for effect. I think it is important to get students in the mindset that once you enter the classroom, our priority is learning and distractions are not acceptable.
Once they find their assigned seat, students will complete a Math Autobiography. After five minutes, I will ask for a few volunteers who are willing to share their responses.
I do not open up to my students with a friendly personality in the early weeks of the school year. I find that it works better if I am firm (and consistent) with students until they are comfortable with the classroom procedures and expectations for behavior. It has been my experience that it is easier to loosen up as the year goes, rather than to attempt to regain control of a classroom later on. I follow this practice for both organizational processes and the presentation of content.
An important component of my daily plan is Guided Notes. My students will be expected to take notes throughout the school year, often with a graphic organizer or resource provided to them. Today's topic is not related to Algebra, but I will have my students take Notes on the Presentation in order to establish this practice as a daily expectation.
In today's lesson, there are many turn-and-talks embedded in the presentation. I will model for students what a turn-and-talk should look like in this classroom. It is important to curb off-task conversation during group work time. Engaging in mathematical conversations is very important to developing the Mathematical Practices. Today, I will overtly praise pairs that are having rich discussions about the topic at hand.
Please enjoy this link which gives a video tour of my classroom.
In order to solidify all that was learned during the class, students will take a Classroom Procedures Quiz as an informal assessment. I will allow students to use their notes during this quiz.
When students finish the quiz, I will collect them. I will not grade the quizzes, as we will grade them as a whole group during our next class.