August is here and many schools have already started with many more to follow in the next few weeks. Research shows the first day of class is critical for setting the pattern for the year (Tikunoff, Ward, and Dasho). They go on to say that effective experienced teachers take more time in setting up the behavioral and procedural standards for the year compared to those new to teaching. When this is done, the students know what to expect and a great deal of behavior problems can be avoided in the future. In addition with good classroom procedures in place, less time will be lost and more time will be spent on learning. Teach your students these rules and procedures just as you would a math lesson. By that I mean make sure they understand what is expected and then practice them. So here are a few things to discuss with the students:
- Introduction of yourself
- Introduction of the courses for the year
- Classroom rules
- Rewards and Consequences related to the rules.
- Procedures for pencil sharpening
- Labeling and turning in papers
- Policies on water bottles, cell phones,
- When and how to use computers
- Homework policy and procedures
- What to do with free time
- Accelerated Reader (if you have it)
- Home Reports
- Skills for success
There may be more you can think of that you need to cover. Take the time thoroughly to go over these things and avoid problems later.
To help you get off to a good start I have a free powerpoint template that covers the things mentioned above. All you have to do is fill in the specifics. Highlight the text you want to type over and type your rules, and your procedures. You can do this very quickly and will be ready to go the first day of school.