An Idea For The First Day of School

I like approaching the first days of school in a very low key manner. We are all getting ready and adjusting to the new routine, and as some suggest, it may take up to 6 weeks for children to finally feel ready for your class. This is especially true as I am an specialist, and I see my students two times during the week. I am not a lucky homeroom teacher who gets to see them everyday! I like to use my first classes to show my students how my class works and what I expect from them, but before I dive into rules and procedures, I introduce myself. This is how I do it:

Every year I make a book where I share with my students a bit about myself, my family, my country of origin, and something fun I did during the summer. I create a short story book and use pictures to illustrate it. I call this book "Todo Sobre Mí."


Students really want to know who their teachers are, and they really appreciate the information you can give them, even telling them my first name, but letting them know that I prefer to be called "Señora Gómez" (however, note that this is not true anymore; this year I am going to make the shift to allowing them to use my first name, just like my students always did in Colombia.)

This is how my book looks!







Would you like to make your own? Grab materials to create yours HERE!

After sharing information about myself, I let them know what I expect from each of them in my class. I do this in the target language most of the time, but still speak about 10% of the time in their native language, suggested by ACTFL to make sure everyone is with me. I use a lot of visuals to let them know what I expect from them in my class and keep my rules simple as much as I can. In fact, I use five simple rules:

1. Respeto
2. Atención
3. Silencio
4. Espera tu turno/Levanta tu mano
5. Sonríe

And of course, I don't want to end my first class without knowing students' names and introducing or reviewing "Yo me llamo..."
Depending on the grade level, I use a puppet or a circle game passing a ball. You can learn more about these two activities following this link: First Week of School: Two Songs for Teaching Greetings and Introductions.

¡Buena suerte!
Carolina


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