Day 2: Practice, Practice, Practice
On day 2 I review and practice to reinforce all routines as they come: entering the room, morning procedures, lining up, hallway, end of the day, etc. I also correct behavior immediately and review the classroom rules and expectations from the charts we made day 1. If there are too many behavior slip-ups, I stop what we’re doing and call students to the floor to review rules charts again to reinforce. It seems time consuming and redundant, but I feel it really does work to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. Last year was the first year I really stuck to this, and I feel that it was my best year behavior-wise.
This is also the day I like to start planning activities in the order of our daily routine. For reading, I usually read a story called “A Monster at School”. We discuss and relate this story to our classroom rules and why we have them. There are some questions that go along with the story, as well as a cut and paste sequencing activity. I have students do this while I call students over to start giving the beginning of the year reading records.
For writing, I like to read Chrysanthemum to the students and talk about how our names make us very special. Then I have students write their names and decorate them in a special way. I also might rotate students through the computers to look up the meaning of their names. While they are doing this, I am available to call students over to continue giving the beginning of the year reading records.
For math, I might give a beginning of the year assessment. We use math exemplars, so I would probably give students an exemplar on day 2, before I really teach any math. I may also give a packet of counting, patterns, addition and subtraction problems for students to work on. This will help me gauge levels of math, and then I would have some extra time to give more reading assessments.
At some point on this day, I would spend some time making sure that students have their names on their notebooks and folders. I would also pass out any workbooks that I want students to keep at their desks. For the writer’s notebook, students need to divide the notebook in half by coloring the outside edge of the first half of the pages one color, and the second half another color (first half for mini lessons, second half for writing stories), or use a dividing sticky tab.
We are still not getting into actual lessons and teaching at this point, but I try to make sure most of the get-to-know-you activities and beginning of the year assessments are taken care of before introducing a lot of content. Day 2 down, 178 to go!