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First Day's lessons?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Katie.Smalley, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Hi, wondering if anyone can help me, I found a couple of months ago a resource with some games, activities etc for using on the first day in September for primary pupils,I stupidly forgot to save it and now can't find it anyhere!!! Does anyone else have it or know where I can find it or anything similar?


    K xxx
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I strongly suggest you plan proper lessons and start teaching immediately. Why do you need games, etc? Start as you mean to go on, otherwise you risk losing control when you do want them to work properly.
  3. I agree with middlmarch on this one! Even more important to get off to a proper start if your first day is Monday like ours is.
  4. I agree with the previous posters as well. After a slightly extended form time, we'll be getting stuck straight in - no time to waste!
  5. I'd agree- getting straight in to lessons is important. However, you could start with some SEAL/PSHCE work- for example creating Class Contract/Class expectations/getting to know you games in circle time etc- alongside your normal lessons. There is a template Class Contract in the SEAL resources.
    Good luck with your first few days, I'M sure you'll really enjoy it
  6. I don't see why you can't have first day activities instead of proper lessons.
    I have a class based day on the first day of term and I will be doing settling in activities with my class before they go onto timetable the next day.
    So long as activities are properly planned and structured I think a 'settling in' day can be a simple way to help children get to know their new school/classroom/teacher/class mates and reduce anxiety before learning begins.
    Try some drama all chn love play acting!

  7. I think it really depends on your class, I think if you are going to do a 'setting in' day then you need to do this by teaching routines and how things are going to work in your classroom, yes do the fun science experiment or whatever so they go home saying 'my new teacher is great' but still use it for them to learn what you mean by noise levels, rules etc.
  8. Personally, I would go for a mix of the two approaches. You DO need to get them in the routine of proper lessons straight away, but realistically, you're not going to get much useful work out of them on the first day. As you're new to the school, it's important that your class have a chance to get to know you and feel settled with you, and that you get to know them too. I took a box of things about me in on my first day, played a kind of pass the parcel with them and they had to work things out from the clues (e.g. about my hobbies, where I'm from, family, favourite food etc) and then got them to do some artwork along the same lines about them (what's in your head - silhouette of their head and they cut, stick and draw on things about them, it's from one of the Belair display books). Also gives you something to put on display within a couple of days which is always useful.
  9. We go back on a Friday! As Im in KS1, I am planning to have some maths games like snakes and ladders, dominoes etc and a write and draw about your holiday for literacy. In the afternoon I will do some music activities and a PSHE lesson. Proper timetable will start on Monday- even though the TA's wont be in class for the first week.
  10. I'm fully aware of my job description, thank you. And it's not your job to tell me how to do it.
    I never suggested going in with the attitude you won't get much work out of them, I believe the word I used was BALANCE.
    Yes, they've just had 6 weeks off (and no, they weren't just watching DVDs in the last week in my school) and just like most adults they need some time to get back in the swing of things. We usually have an INSET day for that as teachers. Yes, do some writing and maths on the first day (I do) but use it more as a means of settling them in and getting them into a routine than getting some top quality work or introducing new concepts to them. They've not been thinking about school for 6 weeks so they need a little while just to even remember some of what they learnt last year!
    It's actually quite important that they 'like you' (well it is in primary, anyway). If they don't, you really have got your work cut out to get anything decent out of them for the rest of the year. If they like you, they'll work with you and for you, if they don't, they're experts in digging their heels in and not cooperating. You can still get work out of them, but it certainly makes your life harder if you have a class who don't like you or have any kind of positive relationship with you.
    As I said all along, it's about finding a balance. Don't go in their all guns blazing expecting them to produce their best for you in the first hour, but don't go the other way so they think it's an extension of the summer playscheme they've just been on. Too far either way, and you risk 'losing' you class for the rest of the year.
  11. B****y TES.
    Wish they'd sort this site out!!! So fed up of posts being lost and then appearing again, editing themselves halfway through and simply taking an absolute age.
  12. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Balance is right, I work in a middle school. In my KS2 classes I will be doing lots of getting to know you activities, KS3 who i already know fairly well, will be getting straight on with it. I do agree with the fact that it is important for younger children to get to know you and 'like you' I got the best results with my year 6 science class this year and have been reliably informed by parents and kids its because the 'like me'!
  13. Sure, it's that simple. If we were just paid to 'teach' them then we wouldn't need to do half the stuff we do for them...
    I've got Year 8 students who still haven't mastered the art of walking to assembly quietly, or waiting their turn etc. I'd rather we spent a bit more time on setting expectations and routines at the beginning of the year rather than ramming as much 'content' into the year as we can and neglecting the fact that, rightly or wrongly, we are paid to do much more than teach a syllabus.

  14. Hi, I always start a new school year with a game of hunt the equipment, I put a list of different classroom objects on each table. The children work together to find the equipment as responsibly as possible. They have to be able to explain to children in another group how to put the pieces of equipment back in the correct place. By the end of the game the majority of children in the class know where to find the equipment they need for subsequent lessons. The children love doing it too!
    Our whole school (10 classes KS1) spend the first two weeks of term focussing on PSHCE, routines, friendships and a mini topic. Year 2 also fit in formal lessons starting on the Monday.
  15. meltav57

    meltav57 New commenter

    Argghhhh - has nobody heard about 'transition'! Particularly in KS1 and I would argue even further up the school of course there needs to be a settling in period! Children need to feel secure and happy in their environment and with the people around them before they are able to take on board anything new! How do you feel when you start a new job/change work places? Just imagine that and times it by 10 for a young child. They are bound to feel nervous and ill at ease! I agree with everyone who has said structure the first few days but make sure that it is fun and practical with lots of pshce activities/getting to know you type things. Please do not sit the little blighters down to loads of formal work! And yes we are paid to teach them - but if they are not happy they will not learn - they are not machines but CHILDREN!??
  16. If you're comparing it to a job, I always prefer it if I'm given something meaningful to do right away - that's what makes me happy and secure. I think it does depend on the age and of course there's a balance, but some of these posts almost suggest that 'formal' work can't be fun - for many children it is, and it's what they get a real sense of achievement from.
    I guess none of this is black and white ...
  17. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    And if they're having form periods at the beginning of the year, you can do that. I'm talking about their subject lessons, within which I'd expect teachers to get them down to work as soon as possible.
    More experienced teachers might be able to run things differently, but as this is a forum for NQTs, it's my considered opinion that an NQT is running considerable risks if s/he faffs about too much at the start of the year.
    I've only got nearly 30 years' experience and more than 1/3 of that as a head, mind.
  18. Never underestimate how easily adaptable children are to new situations. If anything they have much better 'coping' mechanisms than most adults.
  19. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Quite right!
    Which is why at my school we will be starting the formal teaching timetable immediately after first break on the first day.
    From registration to the first break (some two hours) the children can "settle in", be issued with books and any other necessary equipment, get to know their new form teacher, copy their weekly timetable into their homework diaries, etc. There may well be some time to talk about their holidays. This will be followed by a 'welcome' assembly to introduce new pupils and staff.
    Then after break, teaching and learning. During which time I shall be visiting each class.
    What better way of setting expectations and routines for the rest of the year?
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Sound advice to the OP, which I suggest she folows.

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