New teachers are often nervous about the first day of school. How do I set up procedures? How do I introduce myself?
It can be overwhelming for teachers to introduce procedures and know how many and how to have students practice them. Here is a suggested schedule for the first day. Plan on spending most of the first week directly teaching, modeling, role playing and practicing each procedure.
Take attendance on paper.
Send up lunch count.
Morning Work You can start the day with students filling out a survey about themselves. Favorite colors, favorite subject, etc. I would have this printed and on each desk with a sharpened pencil.
When students arrive you will need to give the students explicit directions about how to walk in and where to go. Do you want them to find their name tag and sit there? Do you want them to stand in the back of the room until you tell each child where to sit? Give directions while they are still outside the room. Remember to only give them only a couple of things to do. You want to get them quickly to their seats.
When students arrive, they will put all supplies in a tub on their desk. I don’t organize materials the first day, I work on procedures.
Put large supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant wipes, baggies, copier paper in marked boxes in the room.
Create a looks like/ sounds like chart for the hallway and bathroom. Use these to create and go over hallway procedures, bathroom procedures with the kids. What will it look like? What will it sound like?
Teach students how to line up. Model it. Practice it.
MUST KNOW procedures taught at this time:
- Attention signal ( I like to have several and at least one that does not require me to find my whistle, bell, squeaky toy)
Note: Each procedure you teach must be modeled, talked about, practiced and reviewed.
It might go something like this:
Step One: It you need to use the restroom show me R for restroom hand signal. Teacher shows students.
Step Two: Let’s Practice. What do you do if you need to use the restroom? Students respond with hand signal.
Step Three: When you walk to the restroom should you be talking? Should you hang out in there or come right back? How do you re enter the classroom?
Step Four: Review. What is the bathroom procedure?
You may find that digital agendas like these help you give visual reminders to students.
Review bathroom and hall procedures just created. Take a bathroom break. Use time to practice hall and bathroom
Pull kids to carpet or in a group circle. Introduce myself. Discuss lesson procedures and good listening, when I am reading a book, when to ask questions and hand signals I want them to use.
Read aloud My Teacher’s Secret Life, by Stephen Krensky. My Teacher’s Secret Life
Then I take the time to introduce myself. I usually have a bag with things about me. How many pets I have, what I like to do at home, etc.
Be sure to praise the students for showing good listening as we just described.
If time allows, have a Get To Know You Activity Get To Know You
Create a looks like/ sounds like the chart for recess and lunchtime. Review cafeteria expectations and recess expectations. Recess procedures need to include rules for recess and when and where to line up (when the bell rings, at the number)
Use time to practice hall, bathroom
Go to Cafeteria and practice lunchroom procedures and where we sit, how we eat our food.
Go to recess.
Go the carpet and read aloud the book If Everybody Did. This is another book I love for first day of school!If Everybody Did
This is when I would try to establish my class rules. I like the kids to come up with the rules, with my guidance of course.
Usually they come up with standard rules such as raise your hand to speak, be kind, do your best, etc. One year a sixth grade class I had only came up with one rule: Respect Others. If everyone respects others, what else do you really need? It was an awesome year!
There are lots of resources out there to help you establish rules. Here is one I found.
We come up with a class promise for how we will treat each other and everyone signs it.
At this point I would go over any behavioral management system I have. If you have more than one (such as individual and group rewards or a different system for positive and consequences) I would just choose one to introduce the first day. Teach it as a lesson. “I am going to be looking for students doing _________ so that I can give them a ticket for the raffle.” And be sure to give out plenty of tickets (if that is your system). Children get discouraged when the prize seems hard to get or vague about what you need to do to get the prize.
Review cafeteria and bathroom procedures. Go to lunch and take a bathroom break.
Work on All About Me page. There are many All About Me Pages out there. Here is a link to one I have used. All About Me
Review pencil procedures and procedures for turning in finished work. Remember all written work takes an incredible amount of time the first day.
PE . I would play a fun, noncompetitive game for the first day. For primary I like a game I call mousetrap. For upper grade I might do Fruit Basket Upset
Review Procedures for:
- entering room in the morning/ turn in HW and meet me at table
- where to put you lunch box
- what to do (sharpen pencils, put book bag)
- How to hang up back pack
If you have extra time: Do a Team building Activity. TEAM Building Activity
Review procedures for
- Pencil sharpening
- Bathroom- how to ask and go
- Getting water
- Asking questions
- Attention signal
Have one or two no prep activity ready to go! It is better to have too much planned than not enough. You can always use them later in the week too.
You will love reading this post by my friend Lisa Yeip, How to Strt the School Year for Teachers
Read aloud our first chapter book of the year. Review listening procedures.
Pack up to go home!
Watch this Video From my good friend Keri on teaching procedures.
Subscribe to keri’s Channel
One more thing to remember. Children need to know they are loved and safe the first day of school. Smile. Say something kind.
Be sure to check out my FREEBIES for New Teachers Post