Saturday, September 5, 2015


It's super exciting to say that I've survived not just one - but three weeks of my first year of teaching!! I feel like I am learning so much every day, and I'm totally enjoying the process. 

The first day of school already seems like it was sooo long ago, but today I'm sharing an activity I did on the first day that I LOVED. (This activity was not an original idea, I've seen people do things similar it on Pinterest and such, but I tweaked it to make it my own.)

The morning portion of the first day of school was devoted to getting my students settled in their seats and acquainted with each other and me! Students got to share a few interesting facts about themselves with one another, and after that, I shared about myself. As a transition out of that introduction time into this fun activity, I set things up by saying, "Now that we've gotten to know a little bit more about one another, I want to know some of your expectations for this school year and what you'd like to see from me." And then I turned and wrote the following prompt on the board:

At first, the room was quiet as students were trying to figure out what I was writing. But when I was finished, I heard some giggles and whispers from students who were eager to answer the question. I passed around sticky notes and students captured their thoughts and stuck them up on the board. When everyone was finished, I read the notes aloud and asked my students to help me group them into different categories by finding comments that were similar. The students were totally engaged, eager to help out, and not even thinking about the "work" (brainstorming, writing, categorizing, speaking & listening) that they were already doing on the first day of school! After we finished with our sort, the students went to lunch, and I got to work.

When the students came back in from lunch  they were so tickled to see that I put this poster together and hung it up in the room. (I love how it turned out! 5th Graders crack me up.)

I feel like this activity gave the students some "buy-in". Because they had a voice and got to take ownership in listing out the qualities they want in a teacher, they were more invested in finding out some of the things I was looking for from them later in the day.

Have you done an activity like this? How did it go? Let me know, and comment below!

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