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First few days- lets collect ideas here

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bluerose, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Another common theme on here and primary which im sure will come up again and again-
    What will i do in first few days back?

    My thoughts are
    1) You should not really need to be doing lots of assessment since most schools do this in July and pass this on- theres little point if you cant trust previous records at all!
    2) You really shouldnt waste too much time on getting settled in you need a clear routine asap to get on top of any behaviour problems and to establish whose in control. Also as the weeks go by and youre running out of time youll look back and think why didnt i start earlier. And finally on that it can make the days long and boring if not structured well. These children have had 6 weeks holiday they are at school to learn and work not settle in!
    3) On first day the setting of expectations and rules is key.
    4) by day two in my view you should be into teaching literacy and numeracy. You might well use lessons for the first couple of days to get things up on walls to brighten them up.

    Ok thats my first thoughts doesnt mean they are right. Would others please add to this and then it can be passed to all those worrying.

    Here are a few bits ive found already

    2 | Posted by: julz:cat at 14 Aug 2007 20:02

    I'm also new to Year 5 this year. Actually, being an NQT I'm new to teaching.

    I think I'm planning on carrying out some of the AfL work we are meant to do before actually teaching the maths units. We go back on the Tuesday after INSET Monday so I aim to have a normal(ish) timetable from Wednesday.

    For literacy, we are doing BFG so I want the children to be familiar with the story ready to start the proper 'teaching' the following week. So maybe just talking about Roald Dahl and reading the first part of the story.

    I'm not sure whether this is right. I haven't been told any different. I suppose I'll just have to see how this goes.

    6 | Posted by: rockhill at 14 Aug 2007 14:23

    i start my nqt year sept in a yr 4 class. haven't even been into school yet as i got the job right at end of term!!! been busy planning maths have not done english as it is a 2 form entry so need to talk to other yr 4 teacher? been searching this site for ideas. 1st 3 days numeracy assessment- day 1 MS: more/less number WC: partioning numbers & word problems add/subtraction. Day 2 MS: Times table revision WC: Place value, write numbers in words and a number bond sheet to 20. Day 3 MS: Times table revision WC: mutiply numbers by 10, 100, 100 & word problems division/multiplication. Literacy day 1: copy a poem back to school. Day 2 speaking and listening activity. tell ur partner about holiday& what makes a good listener. Day 3: a big write (can assess writing from this) probably over planned but should keep them busy. busy minds makes for less disruption as a difficult school!!! the rest ??? not sure. Rules reading the class a story. i love Rhoal Dhald books my fav the twits. hope this helps!!

    7 | Posted by: map1271 at 14 Aug 2007 20:09

    You could use a time capsule idea - get the children to write down what their interests are now/what they like doing. Then a target of something they want to achieve in year 4. This can be stored away and then opened on the last few days of the summer term - children can see if they still like the same things and if they achieved their goals.

    Plus think this thread has lots of ideas that could belp NQTs and those new to a year group and the class swop ideas could fill slots too

  2. https://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...

    | Posted by: vlh22 at 23 May 2007 10:27

    I posted this list on the TES in 2004. It's a list of activities you can do with children on the first few days of school - I was teaching Year 1. I still teach Year 1 hand have used this list every year to help plan my initial days with the class. Whole Class Activities
    o Introducing class routines:
    o morning activities
    o registration
    o snack time
    o break time
    o lunchtime
    o getting changed for PE & storage of PE kits
    o signal for silence
    o home time
    o tidying up
    o lunch self registration
    o wet play rules & activities
    o extension activities for when have finished work
    o Reinforce location of pegs, trays, toilets.
    o Show children playgrounds, and what equipment is available.
    o Class games, puzzles, songs:
    o Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
    o Quiz ? apple pie / spider.
    o Copy me.
    o I packed my bag and in it I put?
    o Draw a house (hangman).
    o Songs.
    o Jelly Game ? sit in circle, throw ?jelly? at person, saying name. Child pretends to scrape it off their face, and throws to another person. Last person has to ?eat? the jelly? then gets told what flavour it was.
    o Good morning your majesty ? sit one child on a ?throne? in centre of circle, blindfolded. Choose another child to come & say ?Good morning your majesty?. King / queen has to guess who it was.
    o Who is missing? ? sit in circle, one child is blindfolded. Send another child to hide. Blindfolded child has to say who is missing.
    o What?s wrong? Take a child out of room, & change something about their appearance. Rest of the class have to say what is wrong.

    Whole Class Activities leading to individual work
    o Birthday train: talk about when birthdays are, leading into individual work, e.g. drawing a picture of themselves, to stick on birthday train (1 carriage per month)
    o Circle time ? introducing class and teacher, e.g. things I like, what I did on my holidays?
    o Introducing picture prompts.
    o Share a big book ? leading into individual work, e.g. drawing a picture of a character in book, and writing a caption. Rainbow fish ? ways I can make our class happy.
    o Class rules ? discuss & agree.

    Individual / Group Activities
    o Numeracy games: shape bingo, snakes & ladders, pairs.
    o Literacy games: blends games, silly sentences, matching words & pictures.
    o Decorate topic books ? collage of initials (introduced by whole class discussion of initials).
    o Create a picture of themselves, using collage.
    o Write a postcard & draw picture ? what I did on my holidays.
    o Multilink ? make a tower of ten, make a house, follow instructions.
    o Role-play area.
    o Kims Game.
    o Take photos for Star of the Day.
    o Collages of fruits of literacy group names.

    And most important of all, have fun!

  3. I like to start with a How I like to learn session and encourage the children to think about the ways they enjoy learning.
    I've also done a questionnire using traffic`lights about children's likes dislikes of different subjects and ways of learning and it's given me the opportunity to get an overview of both the class and individuals.

    Not tried this with below Year 4 though.

    I think there is something in the Year 3 SEAL programme somewhere that looks`at different learning styles.
  4. Think those who use BLP should be able to add to the how do we learn type activity although BLP threads get slow response on here there are a few out there
  5. Thanks for all the ideas - I think it is really hard to get the balance between having a nice relaxed introduction to the class and activities and getting the behaviour expectations right. Does anyone else have this problem?

    I usually do self portraits, a small written exercise, and completing a number snake or square.

    I also reinforce the rules about lining up and we all practise it, going in to the hall, morning routine etc and we sit together to write our class rules, which are then displayed so when a child is pulled up for, say, talking when I'm talking, I can point to the rule and remind them that these were therules THEY thought of to make our classroom a good place to learn.

    It is quite a bit step for my Year 2 class as they not only move year group, but we are in a diffreent building to the rest of KS1 - we are in with KS2 with bells all going off at different times and children moving about on a different timetable. It is also a more stark environment in the corridors - in KS1 it is all giant collages of Noddy and dressing up areas in the corridors, mini sofas and chairs around little tables with books on ... where I am the ocrridors are full of the caretakers equipment, piles of dictionaries and stuff like that!

    So I have to be reassuring and comforting to the children, but don't want to come across as too 'easy' -aarrgh!
  6. I agree its so important to set the right tone yes you want them to be happy and feel safe but id say get into routine asap as otherwise you will find losing authority. Anyway kids need rules and structure for feeling safe
  7. Poppychick

    Poppychick New commenter

    I find that my children have changed quite a lot over the summer and every year so far the assessments I have been given have been 'out of date' although they've not been in school some have really moved on and a few gone backwards! I do find informal assessment activties useful. This also helps to show the children an idea of the structure of the day.

    I also use the first week to 'teach' how to use independnet activities if that makes sense. That way they can use them independently in subsequent weeks. Stuff like how to play number games, dominoes, pairs, phonic bingo, sentence games etc.
  8. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

    jucp i am interested in what you say about asking them how they like to learn. Would you be able to give me more information please??

  9. I am having my class for a second year so not too sure what i should do differently for starting back! any ideas greatly appreciated - already got some great ideas on this thread!!

    Thanks Lyns
  10. Thanks bluerose - you are right of course, they thrive on a secure, safe, structured environment.

    I suppose I wonder how they must feel though if in the first day I bombard them with lining up for PE, lining up for assembly and lining up before play (all in different places!), the behaviour reward system, the homework giving in system, the dinner registration system, cloakroom arrangements (they use different loos etc now they are in my class)the system for allocating fruit, where the books are kept, class rules, etc - actually I am probably more worried that I will get confused!!

    What do you think about the idea of writing a welcome letter to parents and carers acknowledging the big change in their arrangements now they are in a different building and outlining the systems and rules - then parents would be able to reassure children who came home feeling worried?
  11. I get into routine asap. This year it's with Year 2 but over the last few years have been with all KS2 classes. Yes it may seem like 'bombarding' but if that's the way you want it done introduce it from the onset. Yes, you will have to keep going over it but it's better than changing a routine, with can be even more disturbing for some chidren.
    I write a letter to the children with some important info as I don't expect them to rememeber it all e.g. reading book/ spelling/ homework/ p.e days/ art aprons. I also add a P.S. Please share this with the grown ups in your house.
  12. i am really interested to read what others do on here as we have an 'induction week', followed by a themed week so don't actually start proper timetabled lessons until the third week back. we have an induction week at the start of every term before starting the curriculum. can see both sides to this....
    thank you for putting this together-lots of great ideas for everyone as always bluerose!
  13. I think that it is important to get back to routine as soon as possible, especially KS2 up, both from the teacher's and parent's view. When my two children went to secondary school they spent the first 3 days or so going over classroom rules.

    Obviously they were being subject taught and every teacher had slightly different rules that they wanted to establish. The result was that both felt rather deflated after the huge anticipation and excitement that they had been feeling.

    This sorted itself out after a week or so and they both enjoy school now.

    As a teacher I see this keen anticipation every September. Often children are bored during the long holiday and actually are all too happy to settle down to hard work without much fuss.
  14. Hi Kat, How they like to learn... we begin y thinking about a lesson they really enjoyed and why- including thngs like the activities, who they worked with etc, I then get them to be more specific and think about their learning as a whole, ehich subjects they feel they enjoy more and are more successful in linking this to where they learn/ work best, time of day they learn best, types of activities, whether they like to learn alone or as a pair or in a group, do they like music, do they learn better after a snack, if they've had breakfast, with water available etc.
    We then mind map. I tend to give them the branches for the mind map -WHERE, WHEN, HOW, WITH WHO, WHAT. As i said, have omly done this with older ones, you normally get a really good discussion going.
    We initially had to do this as part of our staff training for AFL a few years ago,and we were given the branches to use but i've used it ever since and disply the children's ideas about their learning.
    Hope that's of some help. Don't feel I've explained it too clearly. Like I said, have a look at some of the SEAL stuff for Y3 (are you using that in Scotland?) it's got some good starting points in.
  15. Thanks jucp - that sounds really good.
  16. enjoyteach

    enjoyteach New commenter

    A nice activity with the younger ones is to do a cut out of three children joined together in a row, you know what I mean (I hope), you draw one then fold the paper in such a way that when you cut you have three children or people joined together holding hands. Get children to draw themself in the middle with a friend at either side. Then they can write on the back what makes them a good friend.
  17. Poppychick

    Poppychick New commenter

    An idea I used last year was to get them each to decorate a birthday card but not write in it. When they have a birthday during the year they get to choose a card for themselves. We decorated with sequins, glitter, pens etc.
  18. i really like the birthday card idea think with older children you might have to be more cautious so might need a slightly different approach but could still be good
  19. I think I have said this before, but my first week will be english, maths and topic work. The topic work will (when I've got it planned) include a variety of skills.
    E.g. the 'history lesson' will actually be 'how to use non-fiction books', the 'art' lessons will actually be 'how to cut and stick' and 'how use paints' and 'how to clear away' etc etc.

    I have given up on trying to get a lot of pshe/get-to-know-you/settling games, The best way to settle is to get stuck in!

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