This is my third year starting the school year with WBT, but this has to be the best one ever! I have an amazing group of 2nd graders, who very eagerly responded to my first direction of the day, “When I say Class, you say Yes! Class!” “Yes!” “However I say Class, you say Yes. Classity Class!” “Yesity Yes!” Love, love, love that command! It never fails to get your group together!
Coach B recently presented webcasts on the First Hour and the First Day. (See the WBT Video Library #532 and #533) Using the suggested schedule for the day, I organized my presentation accordingly. I loved the flexibility it gave me to adjust it to my school’s schedule that day too!
I posted this list on my board for the students to see as they walked in. Not only did the schedule keep me on target throughout the day, it kept the interest of my students up. This schedule contained terms that were brand new to them. They quickly found that just learning a rule also required participation with gestures and lots of repetition!
Rule #1, “Follow directions quickly!” was introduced and practiced several times then, and often through the day. Teaching procedures using 3peat, involved the repetition of this rule several times. Setting your expectations is very important that first hour and day! We repeatedly used “Seats, Seats, Seats”, “Bodies up, up, up”, and “Lines, lines, lines” during the day.
By introducing the Scoreboard, and emphasizing that the students in my class work as a team to support each other, student participation went even higher! Smilies were not easily given, which made students work very hard to earn them. They had to learn how to “wait for it” before giving a quick clap of hands with an, “Oh, yeah!” after I made the tally mark. When I gave a Frownie, “Hug those ears!” meant a very quick “Uh!”, as they raised their shoulders up to their ears. Note, Smilies can be earned as a result of even one student’s special efforts, but a Frownie may only be given for a Team mistake, not an individual error.
Coach B’s new Name Game was not only fantastic for learning my students’ names quickly, it was a great way to set my expectations for getting students to answer questions with complete sentences!
When I asked, “What is your name?”, I modeled how I expected them to answer. “My name is …” Since I expect “college talk” in my class this year, we get the ball rolling with the expectation of answering in complete sentences the first day!
After lunch, we worked on the other 4 Rules, and I introduced Teach/Okay and then Mirror to model and reinforce the new procedures. Modeling the right and wrong way is especially important to demonstrate your expectations also! With these “tools” in their back pockets it was time for a Fun Burst!
The Fun Burst in the afternoon was especially effective in helping students release some energy, while also keeping the learning mode intact! As Coach B states in the slide above, the Class/Yes is a must for instant control!
Oral Writing was the finale of the day. We worked on Blah and Spicy sentences! I used a frame sentence, “The dog is big.” Students, working with their partner, came up with as many words as they could to replace dog. I was able to incorporate Teach/Okay into this activity since they had used it earlier with the rules. For Spicy, we switched to, “The brown dog is nice.” Again, students worked with their partner to replace the word brown with as many words as they could. Working with a partner encourages participation from everyone, especially children who are not comfortable sharing with the whole class yet.
“Backpacks! Backpacks! Backpacks!” Off to waiting parents with lots of experiences to share about the first day! Oh, yeah!!!