It's the final day of preparations before the children arrive!
It sort of reminds me of Christmas Eve.
It's all finished.
On the first day, I want my middle school students to know that I will wrap the arms of structure around them immediately, and that we are going to have fun too! They want both of those things, and they need them both to flourish! Whichever educator said "Don't Smile Before Christmas" should have been encouraged to find other work opportunities! :)
With up to 85 students in my classes, it is critical that I have my systems and processes in place at all times! So...let's go on the tour of the first 10 minutes of experience in my middle school chorus class on the first day!
Click this link to go on a video tour of my classroom set up for the first day!
To get to that moment, here are some of the things I did:
1) I used Infinite Campus, our grade book, to print labels of the names of the children in each class. It was quick and easy!
2) I created seating charts. It is very important that they have a place to be from the first moment of the first day.
3) I placed the labels on the chairs to correspond with my seating charts so that I can call their names of the first day if I need to do so! I don't check roll by calling names out loud. On a normal day, to check roll, I do a quick scan with my charts and make quick notes in pencil. More about how I check roll on the first day below the picture.
I often say to my students: You get one chance to make a first impression. Well....the first 10 minutes of chorus class is their first impression. Structure....warmth.....calm.
The next thing I want to establish on Day 1 is FUN! So, once I've gotten everything organized with late-comers, etc., and I feel like things have calmed down, I launch into the first lesson of S-Cubed: Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Students. Here is the video link to exactly what I do after things have calmed down on the first day. I took that video on the first day of school in 2013.
With shortened class periods in my building on Day 1, this is pretty much all I am able to do on that first day, but I wanted to share it with everyone. Perhaps it will give you some ideas!
Here is a link to the full bundle of S-Cubed! Click the picture to learn more about it.
Check out my blog!