I learned the hard way the importance of the first 3 days in setting up a positive classroom environment. After years of doing the wrong things, I believe I became successful at achieving the classroom environment I wanted: One with mutual respect among teacher and students, where they felt included in the learning process and comfortable enough to share their ideas without fear of being made fun of for their thoughts or accents.
This bundle includes lessons for the first three days of instruction. Each lesson is also sold separately (and clicking on the links for each title will take you to those plans.)
First day lesson: Making rules fun! (includes intro letter to parents)
After many painful first days of the school year, I came up with this fun way to introduce class rules. The ice breaker helps remind students of the importance of rules and turn taking, and is a game they will likely ask to play again and again. The rules themselves are student-directed and revolve around respect of one another and the students' learning environment. The game can also be used as an introduction to accountable talk, showing students how to look for non verbal cues that show someone wants to speak.
Included with this lesson is a sample introduction letter to parents to encourage early and open communication about their child's progress and a list of the supplies I request from students.
Getting to know one another: Student interviews
This lesson uses a QTEL (ESL) strategy to help students get to know one another in the form of interviews. At the end of lesson 1, students help generate the questions that will be asked today. This lesson also has students complete a writing sample that will enable the teacher to further get to know them and their writing needs.
Rubrics, grading policy, and ice breaker
This lesson uses the same ice breaker used in lesson 1, mainly because by day 3, students are already asking to play the game again! It is a fun activity to do before a “dry” lesson. This lesson helps students understand rubrics, as well as gain a deeper understanding of what is expected of them in class and at home.
All of my lessons use the workshop model and have a checkbox for the teacher to circle which standards they are using in the lesson. While they list ESL standards and were used in a classroom with ESL students, these lessons are appropriate for students of all abilities across grades and content areas.