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First Week Back...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by littlestarsprimary, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Hello all.

    I am just wondering about planning for the first week back. A few people have said not to go straight into a topic/unit (literacy/numeracy) in the first week back, and to do more of a recap/refresher week. Mainly because the children will have had such a long break, it will help to ease them back in.

    I am an NQT who has completed one term at the school already in USK2, but now moving to LKS2 - year 4.

    Not too sure what to plan for the first week? I have some numeracy test analysis data to go from, that highlights a few areas (shape/interpreting bar charts etc) that need improvement.

    Would you just plan some activities each day that aims to refresh their memories? Games/carousel activities maybe?

    I really don't know, hence this post!

    Any advice would be appreciated!
  2. I'm in Year 3 and I'm going straight into usual timetable. I think you can get to know your class, and them you, by teaching normally - none of this ice breaker stuff needed. I'm using the previous teacher's assessment info to plan my lessons, and will be using my mental/oral starter time in Maths, and quick 5 minute starters in Literacy to recap areas and find out what gaps have formed over the Summer.
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    No, I would definitely plan proper lessons. Especially as an NQT. You need to set the tone now for the whole year. If they have fun relaxed 'activities' in the first week, then they will expect that all the time and you will have a really hard time to get them into the swing of working. Be a bit of a meanie in terms of being super strict and set your boundaries.

    If you have a part week first of all then possibly leave starting your main topic until the Monday after, but still teach lessons as you would want them to be in the first week. So you might want them to do you a piece of writing. Tell them it is going to go in a special folder (show them it) and be kept safely until the end of the year when you'll fish it out so they can see how much their work has improved. But lead up to that piece with talk work and then share/create a LO and SC with them for the piece and get them to peer mark, etc. (Don't give yourself marking in the first week, it will be mad enough anyway.)

    For maths, introduce some of your favourite starters to them. Bar charts being a hassle for them, let them know that you have found this out from their last teacher and say you are the expert bar chart teacher and they are going to be amazing very soon. Then get on and do some exciting, but fairly calm lessons interpreting bar charts.

    Use the few days as time to start planting clues about the classroom for your main topic. Build up their excitement and predictions as to what it might be. Then they'll come in on the first Monday full of excitement and yet knowing your expectations.
  4. Thanks so much both of you, these sound like great ideas!
  5. Its an expectation in our place that we start teaching right away....we are back on a Monday, so I will perhaps just spend Monday getting back into school habits, rules and expectations. Some general 'special' work as someone has said for comparison at the end of the year (more for my own sanity LOL)
  6. cozg

    cozg New commenter

    I spend part of the first day in settling in and setting out my expectations. I usually work with the class to come up with a set of classroom rules which could be made into a class charter that the children sign. Good for a starting display in class. You could do what they expect a good teacher to be like too which could be your charter! I have also done things like making a star shape for each child- in the middle goes a photo and the children write interesting things about them selves that they would like you to know... again is nice for a display.
  7. A fellow colleague of mine told me that at the beginning of each year he creates a time capsule with his class, which you could then bury/ hide somewhere until the end of the year to see if any predictions they made came true, and also to see how much their writing has progressed. I think it's a really nice idea and I intend to do it with my year 4's at the start of the year!

    I think on the first day it's really important to get the routines going - have your timetable up so the kids know what they're doing throughout the day, go through behaviour expectations and also what will happen when the children behave well/ poorly. Make sure you show them how you'll be getting their attention when they are working (e.g musical instrument, clapping a rhythm etc) and also what they do at the beginning and end of each day (e.g. standing behind their chairs once they have collected their belongings). The quicker you get the routine going and the behaviour management sorted, the easier your life will be. Good luck!
  8. I haven't really thought about it too much yet. In my school we have the establishment phase, as an NQT last year I did find it helpful to focus on setting the right ethos and atmostphere in the class.
    I was in London for the weekend so I'm thinking setting some of it around "Olympic Memories" and about trying really hard even if we don't win. Quite tempted to make 30 mini-gold medals and make a list of Brits who worked so hard but didn't get a medal and send them to each athlete, but I don't know I'm pretty tired! Also stuff on Baron De C.. orignal idea of the "struggle" being the important part. I teach year 2 so this will have to be broken down, but could be setting the right message and doing some nice lit work.
    Good luck!
  9. In our school we spend the first 2....yes 2 weeks doing PSHCE/SEALs stuff!!!! We write our class vision statement, class rules, school rules, just to make sure we've really got it, the kids write it in their jotters, we decide on a final set of rules and write them up in our books in neat and then on paper for display.....to top it off we do the same for the school rules then copy them up to send to the Head!!!!! I go through behaviour expectaions and disciplines and then we spend the rest of the time it seems on friendship, bullying, feelings, ways to calm down etc!!! I just love those first 2 weeks!!!
  10. Sounds like a nightmare!!
  11. Love that time capsule idea. Great post, thanks. x
  12. I have to say I am the same. I think it is vital to establish behaviour rules, routines etc but also to build a good relationship with your class and them with each other. I have been reading Jenny Mosley's book on Circle Time and find a lot of her ideas to be very interesting, ones which I intend to try out after the holidays. Call me crazy doing all this reading during the hols but last year I feel I made the mistake of not spending the time to properly cement my expectations of the class and do Team Building activities and I feel that if I did I wouldn't have encountered so many problems. I am very lucky though that in my school we are expected to take a few weeks doing PSD lessons, I understand that others don't have this time.
  13. Great posts! I don't suppose you have any good team building activities? We are taking making more one to teach skills in sept. such as perseverance and motivation. Any ideas appreciated! Sorry to high jack the original post!
  14. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    We also spend two weeks 'building a community'. We are a junior school and are now moving towards a quite separate upper and lower keystage and we do a rolling program - as I am in Year 5 we really try to establish ours (and their) expectations now that they are in the upper kstage. It helps them feel more grown up too. Lots of team building activities, amongst other things. Seems to work for us.
  15. OMG This is what my new school is expecting of me for the first seven school days in September, and I'm starting to panic! Any other ideas as to what I could do with YR 6 children? I think I've got ideas for about four days, but starting to flag. The school I just left were rather prescriptive as to what we need to do, whereas my new school have a rather more laid back attitude with no current useful planning to go from, something I'm rather nervous about!!
    Any more ideas/advice would be so helpful, thank you!
  16. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    We do things like: line ups - to establish what they feel thy are good at/need to work at (for instance, you might say - line up along this line, at the far end are people that love art/feel they are good at art/would rather present their work in an 'arty' fashion....at the other end are people who would rather write/feel they don't have a particular talent in art and then in the middle are people who feel they are quite good at art/sometimes like to use art to present their work etcv...(you might know these things...it is quite critical skills based stuff).
    Then we would do some challenge type activities - where they have to work in groups to complete something (it might be a poster about what they think a community is/what they think good organisational skills look like etc and then they would have - at the end - 3 minutes to present their ideas to the rest of the year group.
    We do also do some handwriting practise and establish what is their best writing - with maybe a piece of work about their holidays - this then goes on the wall as a reference for when they are working (to remind them of the work they have said is their best). We also do lots of rule setting, a carousel acitivity of what they might want from us etc...They have a working wall then that has all of the things they have agreedwith regards to how they will behave/work through the year - we do lots of referring to that if they go off track. A lot of people might think that these are wasted activities but we do find it works to help them feel they are the older children in school/the role models...

  17. ESLAB

    ESLAB New commenter

    I have just added my first week lesson plans to the TES resources for KS1 which includes an All About Me booklet for the children to complete (I cannot remember where I downloaded it from last year). It allows you to assess their handwriting, maths knowledge, carefulness with colouring etc whilst at the same time giving you time to take children 1:1 for a bit of reading/maths assessment in that first week. Within it I have added a great link which I have just discovered which also has KS2 plans (but I haven't looked at them) - they are literacy plans for the first week all about Fantastic Mr Fox, which I am going to use this year. For older children, team building games which come to mind, are splitting in to teams, giving the teams a heap of newspapers and cellotape and challenging them to build the tallest tower - generates lots of talking and teamwork.
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Thank you for those plans BALSE, several great ideas there that I shall steal. :)

    Things I hadn't thought of practising, but it would be good to do so and made me think.

    Thanks for posting them, really useful.
  19. Elfreda6969

    Elfreda6969 New commenter

    I would spend the morning with "What did you do over the holidays...?"/ personal goals etc type activity. Then class rules:
    What I need to learn
    What I will do to help myself and others learn
    What should the rewards and sanctions be
    This all leads up to the class rules
    These are really important to establish. I do not think that I could go straight into teaching a normal time table without setting the tone.
    I plan to do a bit of guided reading/spelling/handwriting - something quite straight forward
    Our topic/tell me what you know about...what you want to learn about....

  20. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Balse I love ur idea of a classroom treasure hunt!

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