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Ideas needed for the first 2 days back at school........

Discussion in 'Primary' started by primaryteacher12, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. The children go back to school on September 1st & 2nd September. That means that their first day back is a Thursday... I am new to the school as well as an NQT, and a teacher told me that on these 1st two days back, not a lot is done lesson wise, and that 'real' lessons start on the Monday. I plan to do simple Literacy and Numeracy lessons to start to get to know the children, but for the afternoon lessons I asked the headteacher if I can start the topic off. She advised me to not start the topic until Monday and do PSHE/Citizenship lessons for the two afternoons. I want to do something really exciting...does anyone have any good ideas? I ordered a PSHE book but their ideas are not too good, and involve a lot of sitting around...my class are quite a lively bunch!
     
  2. The children go back to school on September 1st & 2nd September. That means that their first day back is a Thursday... I am new to the school as well as an NQT, and a teacher told me that on these 1st two days back, not a lot is done lesson wise, and that 'real' lessons start on the Monday. I plan to do simple Literacy and Numeracy lessons to start to get to know the children, but for the afternoon lessons I asked the headteacher if I can start the topic off. She advised me to not start the topic until Monday and do PSHE/Citizenship lessons for the two afternoons. I want to do something really exciting...does anyone have any good ideas? I ordered a PSHE book but their ideas are not too good, and involve a lot of sitting around...my class are quite a lively bunch!
     
  3. I'd caution against anything "really exciting" for the first two days back. I spent four days last year (at the beginning of my NQT year) doing lovely, exciting, getting to know each other activities, and now realise that this set some of the behaviour patterns for some individuals for the year.
    It does seem strange for the head to advise not to start the topic off. I soon realised that there is so much to fit in, every day "off curriculum" adds up and before you know it you've lost a lot of learning time.
    If I were you, I'd have the first morning looking at the rules YOU set - this year I'm going to tell them what they are and then ask them to describe / draw what they look like in practice rather than all work together to set our own class rules. After that, it will be business as usual for me.
    I'll admit that, this time last year when I read advice like this, I thought it seemed a little harsh, but this year I know it's right for me. There simply isn't enough time to "fill" for days on end; the children need to know that you are in charge, from the first minute, and that there will be structure, rewards and sanctions.
    If you really can't start your topic off in the first week, make the most of squeezing in lots of other curriculum areas that sometimes get squashed out. MFL, ICT, RE, PSHE.... and by that I mean use the opportunity to start your foundation subjects off properly, rather than filling. If you are expected to do PSHE, for two afternoons, then teach what your MTPs say you are going to teach, rather than some lovely activities which bear no relation to the rest of your scheme of work!
    Hope this helps a bit!

     
  4. Excellent thank you! You have actually sparked an idea... when I went in to teach for the day I did a whole afternoon teaching art and the children loved it, so I may do some of this with the children as whenever I see them they ask if they are going to do it again!!! Thank you!
     
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Good to hear someone advising colleagues to do proper, planned and meaningful activities from proper subjects from the off next year, rather than the 'fun' 'getting to know you' stuff that can lead to exactly the kind of bad start some teachers experience to their cost. Quite why any head would advise a young teacher to faff about with PSHE when that young teacher is itching to get on with real work is beyond me.
    And before the 'PSHE is real work' brigade arrive - no, it's not.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    PSHCE CAN be real work...teaching meaningful lessons about drugs and sex ed and all that IS real work and lessons in just the same way as any other curriculum area. However, 'getting to know you' is NOT PSHCE and cannot possibly last two whole days!

    To the OP, I think you are doing the right thing by having clear lessons from the start. Yes tell them your expectations and make a vague attempt to learn their names in the first hour or so, but then move on.

    You don't mention how old the class are, but you could easily do a two lesson maths investigation with them...make it one that needs no marking and can be put on display. Same with literacy, a creative writing two lesson plan with a finished product to go on the wall, and no marking for you would be perfect. (Obviously you can't get away with no marking all term, even I don't manage that, but you will have way too much to do in the first two days of your new, first post to be marking work.)

    Then like you say you can do art in the afternoons. They will like it, but you also need to keep it a bit formal. Have a LO and clear SC for them to meet. Don't let them think art is just having fun and no learning.

    I do sort of see the point in starting your whole new topics and units of work on the Monday, but do have something clear and structured for the two days. Don't forget there will probably be assemblies and the like as well.
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Is establishing rules and expectations not PSHE?
     
  8. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    During the transition time I have with my new class we create our class rules (which are carefully guided to be what I expect of them anyway but they think they decided them). The children come into my class knowing my expectations anyway; they are in year 6 and they work. They do not come to me to be mothered or spoonfed and they know that. I then consolidate these rules and expectations throughout all my lessons starting from 9am on the first morning.
     
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    For a half hour PSHCE lesson maybe, but not for two whole afternoons!
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've been teaching my new class for a morning a week since half term so not only are rules established we have already begun our topic so dayone will be full steam ahead.
     
  11. Yay! I spent so much of Autumn term last year feeling like I didn't have a clue what I was doing. It was only really in Spring term that I began to feel as if I vaguley knew what I was doing... and now here I am advising someone! My goodness, what a difference a year makes!
    [​IMG]
     

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