Where Are The Desks?

This is a picture of my classroom before the students arrived in the morning for the first day of school.

I set up mats for each student to sit down on the floor. In front of those mats, I placed a hula-hoop with a name tag, a pencil case, and the first assignment.

I instructed each student to come into the class, find their name tag and begin work right away. I have started off the first day of school like this now for the past few years.

The first assignment was a mind-map where students needed to simply list some of their favourite things. I did an example on the computer and posted it up on the Smart Board so they could all see what was expected.


Here are why I included the pictures – starting at the top centre

Books – I like to read
Computer – I like to write and blog
Drive-In Theatre – It’s a must that I go at least once a summer.
Brother Ali – is my favourite rapper right now
Pencil and paper – I like writing stories
Everwood – is my favourite TV show
Soccer – is my favourite team sport to play
DJ set- I love hip-hop music and culture.
Daredevil – my favourite superhero and comic book character
Tiger-Cats – my hometown football team
Music – I love teaching music

After that, I had the students move their hula hoops and work together to create Venn diagrams.

I like how this activity gets the students working together in groups right away. It is also tactile since they get to move hula-hoops and place pieces of paper in the correct positions to create the diagram. The first mind-map activity also served as a reference to help them do so.I then use the hula-hoops as a discussion point about personal space and respect in the classroom. After that, I bring out the desks and the students then have their own personal space to store their belongings.

I make sure that I over-plan the first day of school so that things are always moving. I give the chance for students to win some prizes and have some fun on this first day as well.

I find that this structure for the first day of school really works for me. I’ve already shared with you my extensive day plan but I thought it would be nice to share this images with you. I hope you find my Teaching Tip Tuesday posts useful.

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