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.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or would like to write a guest post for Teaching Tip Tuesdays, please leave me a comment below, send me an email, or get at me on Twitter. Teachers helping teachers is what it is all about.

6 responses to “Where Are The Desks?”

  1. Hi Chase,

    I like your innovative ideas. It sounds like a fun and unexpected experience that not only gets the kids to intermingle, but to learn about "space" as well.

    Thank you for sharing. Although I'm not a teacher, I'm guessing other teachers could benefit from this post.

  2. Students enjoy working together in classroom arrangement.They get involved much and do the work.A wonderful website brings out the interest of students and motivates students to fully participate in all works.