Every veteran teacher knows that setting expectations and procedures at the beginning of the year is CRUCIAL. However, not many of us look forward to the boring humdrum of going over where the pencil sharpener is, how we expect students to raise their hands, how we want them to look when they are learning.
Here is a lab that is a great follow up to that lesson that will get students engaged, get you teaching, and still give you time to focus on those essential beginning of the year expectations and procedures.
This lab specifically has students set up an ideal classroom environment and then slowly add distractions and measure their progress to see how these distractions affect their learning.
I have personally done this with 3rd graders, 5th graders, and 7th graders. It is versatile and can be geared up or calmed down depending on the needs of your students.