Another First Day of School Activity

Yesterday I posted about a video I would show after my students and I discuss “why we read?”

I plan to follow this activity with this one (which has been a great starter the last 4-5 years):

On the first day we have lots of comings and goings because of schedule changes, so I start with an easy activity and a game. I have the students take the first ten minutes to write down any questions they have about me or the class on 2″ by 2″ pieces of paper. They can ask anything they want and do not put their names on the slips of paper. I don’t have to answer a question, but it’s rare to get an inappropriate question. The kids drop their slips of paper into my cap and away we go.

I answer every appropriate question, even if it’s a silly one because this is how we get to know one another. I always hated the list of rules (I don’t have any rules in my classroom–never needed them) and the reading of the syllabus on the first day, and this allows me to answer their questions, making their interests the focus from day one. It’s their class after all.

This takes about 30 minutes, and then I give them some word puzzles to complete in groups for the ever-requested extra credit. It’s only five points, but they think it’s a billion and will do anything for the points. This ends the period.

Today I spent about four hours finishing my room and making copies as well as creating a project for my students to open the year. I really enjoy getting in early and not having to go into the school the day before classes because it’s a madhouse. Teachers, in my experience, are no better than their students when it comes to procrastination, and the copy room the day before school starts is where you want to go if watching frustration and stress is your cup of tea.

I’m finished and taking tomorrow off. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Another First Day of School Activity

    1. drpezz Post author

      I like the beaker idea. 🙂 (Is a graduated cylinder bigger?)

      I’ve always felt that we, as teachers, ask students to share so much, and this sets a tone that everything I ask of them is reciprocal, that I will do anything I ask of them. I need that trust set from the start, so they will take risks.

      I’ll be curious to hear how it goes. Good luck!


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