#hssunfun: First Day Activities

I am a day late on this…BUT…we lost our internet connection at our house yesterday. Life without internet stinks! Also, we live in the country, and our cell signals aren’t strong enough to pull much data in. I could check Twitter (sometimes), but no FB, no productive searching online…it was a rough day to have the weekend before school begins! Anyway…

Our first Teacher Institute Day is *this* Wednesday! Eek!! Despite the fact that I have spent between 3 and 8 hours in my classroom every weekday since Aug 1, I still feel slightly unprepared for this week! Perhaps it’s the fact that I am a part of our PBIS team and we plan an Opening Day Event for our students, so time spent isn’t just for me and my classes! Either way…the week goes like this: Wednesday-food, meeting, meeting, meeting, food, meeting, meeting, tiny bit of time to work in our classrooms; Thursday-Opening Day 2012 (a morning where students are taught expected school wide behaviors, student dismissal at 11:30, food, meeting?, time in our classrooms?; Friday-full “normal” day with students. So, I get to meet my new classes Friday. We will have them for a full period that day, which is a measly 43 minutes (anyone else have SHORT class periods??). 


My schedule this year is as follows:

Advisory-Seniors! Loved my Senior Advisory last year, trying to not to have preconceived expectations/standards for the new group

1st period-Prep (might love and hate this…I am an early-to-school-person, so this will give me a TON of time to get mentally prepped for the day and play catch-up, also shared planning time with my co-teacher for STEM class)

2nd period-Math Strategies (10th grade), an RTI class that is computer based with individualized help as well

3rd period-PBIS Coordinator

4th period-Advanced Math Concepts (building on Algebra and Geometry concepts learned as 9th/10th graders)

5th period-8th grade Algebra I (our accelerated students)

6th period-supervising a credit recovery class (APEX), several students working on a variety of on-line curriculum in different content areas

7th period-Advanced Math Concepts

8th period-STEM (Enrichment class for top 8th graders, new class, using a curriculum based around one topic for the semester and integrates Math, Science, Engineering, Technology…will co-teach w/ science teacher)


Below are some of the things I plan on doing. I run things through my mind several times before I commit on paper, or in general, to what I am doing. I haven’t committed yet…probably need to work on that! I know Friday will be here before I know it. None of them are solely my idea, some are completely like the original source and some I have changed to fit what I want to do.  


Seating Arrangement Activity (Alg I due to size/what I experienced last year), from an edweek article linked on @sandramiller_tx’s blog. 

An Introduction to who I am via Prezi

I will give each student a Post-It as they walk in. They will be directed to fill in the sentence: “Math is _____________. I will, of course, censor them in case anything is inappropriate, but then make a Tag Cloud for each class, or for the entirety of my classes using wordle.net or tagxedo.com. I got this idea from someone’s survey…though right now I can’t find where that was! I also can’t remember if the tag cloud idea was the same person’s, a different person’s or my own! Anyway, shout out/thanks to whoever prompted this! I think it could turn out to be pretty neat. 

Silent Interviews: This looked like a great way for students to share with each other, even if they know each other well. We can not only learn about each other, but also have a discussion on communication (nonverbal and verbal). 

Snowball Fight (probably only Alg I): This will allow us to have some fun, but also set boundaries about how to have fun. I am usually pretty good about discussing expectations for crazy activities before we begin. 

Who I Am survey from Dan Meyer. I found this before last year, and liked that it gave students space to be as creative, or uncreative as they liked. I may fill out my own and include it in my Prezi. I may make a couple of modifications to the categories. I like to get out my colored pencils, markers and crayons for this and tell my students that it is “Arts and Crafts” time!

Hand out course syllabus (expectations, procedures, grading policy, materials, contact info for parents)

Like I said, I won’t use ALL of these in ALL of my classes. I will have to pick and choose this week, and decide what will be best for each class I have. My homework to them is to finish their Who I Am sheet, get their syllabus signed (we’ll go over parts of it as time allows Friday, but finish Monday), and get their binder ready for next week (I will most likely do their first binder check Wednesday to see if they have it and have it set up as I set out in the syllabus).

There you have it: my first day activities! 


2 responses to “#hssunfun: First Day Activities

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