In the first few weeks of school, our primary focus will be to build a strong, caring classroom community. You can read more about my teaching philosophy in my essay, Foundations of My Teaching.
I normally structure the Teacher Plans page by breaking down my plans into the following five categories:
- Review of last week
- Science or Social Studies
Since this is our first week, things will be a little different. We'll be working on some team building activities and classroom explorations to get acquainted with how the year will run. This first week's plan is longer than normal. The plans will definitely become more succinct as the year progresses!
The launch of the school year is filled with many fun activities:
- Getting to Know You --We'll be sharing all about ourselves, from our favorite summer memories to our favorite hobbies to our favorite colors through writing, art, and social activities.
- Procedures Overview and Practice --We'll practice walking quietly in the hallways, quieting down quickly, coming to the rug, using classroom materials respectfully, and so on.
- Hopes and Goals --Student will write about what they hope for and want to accomplish socially and academically this year.
- Group Skills 101 --Explicit practice in the art of working with other people. We'll focus on listening, compromising, and non-verbal communication. These skills are essential for the partner work and team projects we do throughout the year.
- Recess Games --At recess we'll be playing class games such as Zombie tag, Capture the Flag, and Captain's Coming. We'll focus on how to be fair, inclusive, safe, and good sports.
Reading is very important in my classroom. I want students to find books at their level that they love.
- Find a "Just Right" Book --We'll learn how to find books that are just right for us. Students will then explore my classroom library and choose a book to read independently.
- Teacher Read Aloud --I usually start the school year with a short science fiction story by Neil Shusterman. It's called, "Pacific Rim," a suspenseful tale of a cruise unlike any other! It gets students all excited.
- Informal and formal assessments --While students independently read, I will float around the room and ask individual students to read aloud for me so I can learn more about each of them as readers. I will also formally assess some students.
I love to teach writing. I know it can be challenging for many students, but I'll break it down into easy strategies.
- Storytelling to Start --Our first piece of writing is just a sample so that I can see where students are at. We'll practice a strategy called, "Storytelling," where students tell a partner about an experience to help get the order of events straight before writing.
- Generating Ideas --We'll learn some strategies for conquering the blank page. Students will learn how to think of people, places, and turning points and list them in a special place that they can always return to.
- Decorate the Writing Journal --A customized journal is a great inspiration! I'll provide students with materials and ideas for decorating their journals. They may need to finish at home.
I hope all students will love math just as much as I do.
- Multiplication Review --To make sure students start fifth grade off right, we'll review our basic multiplication facts through 12x12. We'll play Multiplication Bingo and take some timed 50 facts tests.
- Explore Math Resources --Students will explore the Everyday Math Student Reference Book through a scavenger hunt, then I will model how to use some of our math materials such as calculators, dice, and cards.
- Prime and Composite --We'll explore what it means to be prime or composite and then find all of the prime number up to 100.
This week we hold off on Science and Social Studies to focus on launching reading, writing, and math.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the first week of school. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or concerns.