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22209

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Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #31 
@tmcham

I remember when I taught 3rd/4th grade self-contained, I felt the same way! It seemed like the first couple of weeks I couldn't get as much instruction in because I had to teach so many procedures! I would come home with such a sore throat (especially since you don't talk quite as much during the summer...haha!) Be careful about trying to fit too much instruction in in those early weeks. I know it's hard with the curriculum flying by and the stress of starting off behind. However, in the years that I spent less time on procedures in an effort to stay on pace....it seemed like I lost that time anyway (and then some!) having to remind my kids over and over and over what to do throughout the school year.

I totally agree with you that when I am well prepared for the day, the learning opportunities are enhanced so much more than when I am not prepared! It's hard to stay on top of your game and be 100% all the time!

Good luck next year! I hope you are able to grow close to your teammates! There is nothing like a strong team that works together! [smile]
ktymniak

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #32 
cbryant:

I love your idea about sending information about procedures home to the parents! I really think that will clarify things for your students even more so! 

I know I am thinking about what procedures I need to actually post and / or publish for substitutes and assistant principals or other adults that may enter my classroom.  Some of my classroom procedures are a bit different than those of other teachers and I have come back from being out, only to have to fetch a student out of the detention room for following procedures. 

 As is outlined in the book, many of my day to day procedures are handled by students, including sending out text and email reminders concerning homework and test, and posting information to the class website. I rarely sit at my desk as the class assistants are up and down from it doing their jobs.

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Karen Tymniak
   "On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur."

   "One only sees well with the heart."
        Antoine de Saint-Exupery
ehowe

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Posts: 83
Reply with quote  #33 
My expectations as far as what my students could expect from me didn't really change last year from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I feel like it would have been helpful if I communicated those expectations, however. We went over what I expected of the students at the beginning of the school year (they helped create our class rules/expectations), but I never explicitly told them what they should expect from me. This is something I will change next year.
[/QUO


I agree.  I have hinted to the students what to expect from me, but probably never put it into exact words from them.  Good idea, and something I will probably change as well.
ehowe

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Posts: 83
Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theteach
@Sdcatoe
@ehowe
I am SO impressed of the level of consistency you have for 4 year olds!  I am a tad jealous also, because I wish I could have used your example to explain to a parent this last year that kids are capable of being responsible.  (She felt as if her 10 year old could be help accountable for bringing home a progress report!)  I will however, use your example in the future if I encounter a similar parent as I can state that the procedures we put in place allow our students to be responsible for their actions, and consistency in their lives.  I think that providing the routines for the parents also might help them see the importance of their child being there on time or not being picked up early!  Best of luck!


Oh, they are very capable!  Our classroom looks very different than older grade levels, but I LOVE hearing the surprise in visitors' voices when they comment on how "independent" my class is.  
mmlillie

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Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #35 
ehow:

I love that your goal is to make the littles ones as independent as possible.  Training them on procedures is definitely the way to do that! I was an assistant in a preK class last year, and you could tell immediately when our procedures broke down... usually because we had failed to put any in place :-).  THe amount of behavior problems, "what do I do now?" questions, etc. increases dramatically when the kiddos don't have a specific roadmap they can follow. 

I also think it's a great idea to help parents/caregivers know what the morning and afternoon procedures are. I think you'll see things go even more smoothly this coming year.
msusong

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Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theteach
@Sdcatoe
I agree that starting procedures the first day would be more beneficial.  I was at a junior high where every teacher was required to share a slide show with the expectations and procedures of the school.  Though this was helpful, it wasn't the best way of handling things.  Had I known to have them practice the routines that were presented during that time, while we were in the classroom, I think it would have been more beneficial in the long run for student success and campus success.  The reason I state this is,  because your description sounds very similar to my past campus. 
My new campus, however, has NO procedures as a class or campus, so I don't intend to do the "getting to know you" activities as a whole class, but as Morning Work and then to practice the procedure of how we share and how I get their attention.  I want to know my students, but I also want to practice the procedures that I want for the school year.  Best of luck next year!

@ehowe
I am SO impressed of the level of consistency you have for 4 year olds!  I am a tad jealous also, because I wish I could have used your example to explain to a parent this last year that kids are capable of being responsible.  (She felt as if her 10 year old could be help accountable for bringing home a progress report!)  I will however, use your example in the future if I encounter a similar parent as I can state that the procedures we put in place allow our students to be responsible for their actions, and consistency in their lives.  I think that providing the routines for the parents also might help them see the importance of their child being there on time or not being picked up early!  Best of luck!


Thank you for your thoughtful responses!

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Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator
msusong

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Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnaBethDay
I want to do more "getting to know you" activities that engage the students and help them love writing! I want then focus on procedures, but not bore them!


What type of getting to know you activity do you think would engage them?

Thanks!

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Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator
tamram

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #38 

"Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?"

If it weren't for being able to look back and be given it another chance, I don't think I could continue teaching. Two weeks after my first year of teaching, I realize it can only get better. The emphasis that Harry and Rosemary Wong place on the first day of school gives me hope. I was hired two days before school began last year without a clue about my subject--Advanced Quantitative Reasoning (12th grade math class). From day one, I couldn't hide the fact that I was a new teacher, I was learning the topic along with my students, and that I wanted to be their friend. All signs of the ineffective teacher. The Wongs maintain that teaching is a craft, giving me hope that my effort and desire to improve can help me improve what I thought was a innate skill. 

This year I will start the year clearing establishing the classroom guidelines the first week of school instead of focusing on getting-to-know you activities. The syllabus will include more detail with the entire year layed out my month, with topics, homework and project due dates.  The student will be responsible for answering  "When is ___ due?".  In the first week I will establish classroom conduct, cell phone use, bathroom use, showing respectful behavior during my explanations and class discussions. I will try to answer all logistical questions both verbally, on the walls on the syllabus. The hardest part for me will be maintaining consistency in enforcing the guidelines: staying in seats just before the bell rings, honoring cellphone rules, classroom discussion requirements and not rewarding whining.

In summary, one Day 1 I will be better prepared in my subject, have my website available for syllabus access, contact information, and classroom guidelines, and plan to be the teacher not the friend.


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Tamra M.
M/S H/S Math Teacher
tamram

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theteach

My students knew that I would be at the door to greet them into the classroom and that they would have a “to do” list posted on the board.  Usually the “to do” list would tell the students what materials they needed for the day.  As the school year went on, the students were given an assignment at the door.

Pages 16 – 21 – Preparing before school, was quite an eye-opener!   I learned that I have done a few of those things already; like short, simple, and easy classroom rules. But I have learned that I have many other things that I need to do, like positive expectations of all students, a better first day script, agenda, and assigned seats!  I never thought that not assigning seats could be that big of an issue, but now I do.  I have been allowing my students to control the class from the first day! No wonder I had issues.  Also, by not explaining all of my procedures, my students have struggled.

As a teacher coming down from 6th grade to 4th grade, I have learned many things that I would change due to the grade level and the items listed in the first chapter.

In response to reading this first chapter, I have already started my slide show for procedures, plan to create a reminder banner for the desks, and revisit what procedures I expect from my students. 



Though my students are 8 grades older, the routine you already establish is equally valuable. I strived for but did not consistently follow your classroom entry routines. Assigned seating worked well once I discovered in halfway through the year. Like you, my students ran the classroom from day one and when I attempted to take charge argued with me relentlessly. I had many behavioral issues which I let distract me from the teaching that the majority of the students were entitled.  I appreciate you sharing your experience.

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Tamra M.
M/S H/S Math Teacher
mewisl

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Posts: 148
Reply with quote  #40 
I have been teaching for  while and had studied Harry Wong's First Days of School in college 15 years ago.  I was pleased to see that I was still doing some of the techniques he suggested.  I do not however greet my students at the door every morning.  I do meet them for the first 6 weeks.  I then greet them in the classroom.  I do post the agenda and we put check marks by the activities we finish and I usually post the next day's agenda with the students so that they are aware of what needs to be done before they come in.  This seems to help my struggling readers and auditory learners.  What I would like to see me implement again is the posting of the procedures.  I know my wall space is limited, but maybe in their folders make small anchor charts for them to refer to.
TXnature1

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbryant
I am a first year teacher in a kindergarten classroom.  I wanted my students to feel my warm and caring nature therefore, I always greeted them at the door with a hug. My student expected to see my smiling face welcoming them into class at the start of every day.  I  planned several activities to keep my students busy, but I know now that I should have been introducing my procedures and expectations. I'm excited for the upcoming school year and I feel I will have a handle on my classroom by introducing the procedures and modeling what is expected. 


Because I teach 1st I can say that I also have learned that procedures are so important to start the very first day. It is amazing to me that once kids learn a procedure (whether right or wrong), they will do it until the last day of school. It is so difficult to change in the middle of the year. It is SO MUCH easier to really think at the beginning of the year what you want your kids to be doing, (What are your goals?) and HOW you want them to do it and then practice the procedures that will get you to your goal. Have a great year! 

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TXnature1

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 22209
@tmcham

I remember when I taught 3rd/4th grade self-contained, I felt the same way! It seemed like the first couple of weeks I couldn't get as much instruction in because I had to teach so many procedures! I would come home with such a sore throat (especially since you don't talk quite as much during the summer...haha!) Be careful about trying to fit too much instruction in in those early weeks. I know it's hard with the curriculum flying by and the stress of starting off behind. However, in the years that I spent less time on procedures in an effort to stay on pace....it seemed like I lost that time anyway (and then some!) having to remind my kids over and over and over what to do throughout the school year.

I totally agree with you that when I am well prepared for the day, the learning opportunities are enhanced so much more than when I am not prepared! It's hard to stay on top of your game and be 100% all the time!

Good luck next year! I hope you are able to grow close to your teammates! There is nothing like a strong team that works together! [smile]


You have to go slow at the beginning so you can go fast at the end. If not, it's a struggle ALL year. Thanks for your thoughts! 

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[thumb] No Child Left Inside
raclark

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #43 
My high school students could expect me to help them if they needed it and to answer their questions.  They could also expect me to care about them as individuals while expecting them to achieve at their highest level.  I did start last year with  class procedures and will definitely do the same next year. The first day is usually a very short 20 minute day and so the procedures fit well in this time frame.  One of the biggest things I will be changing this year will be my response to cell phones in the classroom.  Students will know that they may not be interacting with their phones when they are in my classroom.  I also like having teacher expectations and will add that to my procedures.  I have not assigned seats in the past but think I will do that this year to set the tone right away that we are in class to learn and not just socialize.  I am also going to post a large schedule so that students know when they will transition to their next class.  I think this will also help me as well.  I need to decide on a better method to get the attention of the students.  It has to be something I am comfortable with and will use every time.
raclark

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktymniak

I teach high school so my students respond very well to procedures.  When they know how I expect things to be done, they are able to do them for themselves.  High school students dislike very much being treated as children, so when I am able to give them autonomy in day to day procedures, they feel much more as if they are responsible for their own learning and respond accordingly.

I also teach French, so I teach the same students for two to five years.

This year was an exceedingly rough year.  The other French teacher resigned in August.  The teacher we hired to replace him quit after the first day.  After that, I dealt with a succession of substitutes.  Luckily, the two classrooms were right next door to each other.  This situation really high-lighted for me the importance of teaching procedures. 

In my upper level classes, the students know what the class procedures were from previous years with me and would follow through regardless of where I was. 

In the lower levels, because I was spread between two classrooms, I did not do an effective job of teaching procedures and things did not flow as smoothly.  My students were intelligent and good hearted, so most of them eventually figured out from what I did say and do, how I wanted things done – but not having that time to clearly lay out and practice my procedures really threw off my year.  For example, I had many more problems with students being in dress code and having their ID’s on – than previously.  I also had to remind them to put up cell phones and to start on their work = all because I didn’t properly teach them my procedures at the beginning of the year.

Next year, first of all, I really hope I will not be juggling two full loads!  Secondly, I want to do a clear job of teaching and practicing my procedures.  I also want to add one I observed with another teacher – greeting the students at the door, and checking for dress code and ID’s BEFORE they enter the classroom – so simple and so effective!

From my reading, I plan to also let them know what they can expect of me – in actual words, not just through my reputation and my actions – I think this will help things meld and start to flow more quickly in my classroom.

raclark

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #45 
I also had problems with cell phones in my high school classroom and did not have clear expectations of what was expected.  I want to start greeting my students at the door next year and I think the idea about checking for ID's and dress code before they come in is a great idea.  It sounds like your classroom is a great place to be!

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