Start of school

First 2 weeks of school activities!?


15 Responses to Start of school

  1. Sarah says:

    Have you ever seen the broken squares activities? They take a bit of time to make a class set, but it is a great week 1 activity to show the power of group work.

  2. John Berray says:

    Send a link if you can about the broken squares activity. I want to check it out.

  3. Eva Rudolph says:

    I would love to hear about that activity too!

    At the school I teach (middle school, 7th & 8th grade) we do school wide team building the first two days of school. Activities include teacher scavenger hunt, school tours (the 8th graders pair up with a 7th grade “buddy” to show them around), along with numerous getting-to-know-you activities that change every year.

    The next week in my class we continue the team building. In each class I hold class meetings to talk about the characterstics of a good learning enviornment. During that time we come up with a class name and a set of classroom norms (aka rules). We also do 2 Minute Interviews throughout–where the kids interview each person in the class for 2 minutes. Then we do a fishbowl activity about working in groups so they can see the expectations for group work, (lots and lots of group work throughout the year!) check out #3 from “Keeping Students Engagaed”( I came across on one of my favorite sites, Edutopia.

    ps. this site is awesome too. =)

    I am excited to hear everyone’s ideas!

  4. zshiner says:

    I believe that this is the broken squares activity. From the page:

    Through the “Broken Squares” activity and discussion, participants
    learn the importance of effective interpersonal skills and discover
    ways they can develop their own interpersonal abilities. As a
    result of the activity, participants should be able to identify at least
    one reason why interpersonal skills are important and at least one
    way that they can improve their own interpersonal abilities

  5. Karl Mason says:

    I am a firm believer in the first lesson with ANY class, you start with a ‘meeting’ and draw up a classroom agreement. This has your classroom expectations, homework expectations, rewards and sacntions, and is agreed by the student. You then spend perhaps a lessn explaining how you are going to work, what good learning looks like, how to give feedback, how to help somebody who doesnt get it, the FAQ board, how to use certain sites (khan academy, youtube, mymaths), how to provide evidence of met objectives, basically everything that is important to how your lesson runs.

  6. Iris says:

    I dont understand this one:
    “You cannot take a piece from any of your team members, but you can give one piece at
    a time to any of your team members”
    can someone explain this pls ?

  7. Eva Rudolph says:

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I took it as more of a respect idea-you can just grab someone’s peice, they have to offer it to you. I believe this allows everyone to work together rather than having one or two students to take over.

  8. Eva Rudolph says:

    *can’t grab someone’s piece

  9. Iris says:

    thank you, Eva.
    I thought of “take” as the opposite to “give” like in “give and take”.
    thanks for clarifying.

  10. Karl Mason says:

    Yeah, you must be offered a piece, not just take one!

  11. Isabel Wiggins says:

    Here is a link to a broken squares activity:

    Some years I just move into curriculum without doing these activities (team building and setting class norms) and always pay the price later.

  12. Debbie says:

    Faced with a couple of days of every other subject spending the first lesson on new books, explaining things and deciding on ground rules etc I like my first lesson to be full of maths. I think this conveys my priorities and sets out my stall to the kids.

  13. Jessica says:

    What about Back to School Night or Curriculum Night as it is called in my district? Mine is organized where the parents follow their middle school student’s schedule and are in each classroom for about 12 minutes. I have always used a powerpoint with my talking points, but find it boring repeating it 6 times. I was thinking about having the students help me create a video during the first two weeks of school that could be shown during Back to School parent night. Of course I would still talk and address a few things, but I thought it would be a fun way to change it up a bit and make it more interesting. Any helpful hints on what to include in the video?

  14. Geoff says:

    Skill-builders are always good to come back to, as well as for starting out the year. Check out this English website for a good discussion and a bunch of ready made resources.

  15. John Sherin says:

    The definitive primer on Broken-Squares can be found at It is an excellent tool for teaching communication, collaboration and cooperation.

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: