First Day of School Lesson Plan

A plan geared toward a high school classroom

Permalink by:Bethany Kelly August 16th, 2012 View Comments

The first day of class will set the tone for the year. Use a mixture of friendly and serious and you'll be just fine :)

Before students enter, have this written on the board and outside the door.

  • Teacher’s name
  • Room number
  • Subject

The faster kids can be sure they are in the right place, the less stress they will feel. You can greet kids at the door, and once that bell rings, be sure to ask if everyone is in the correct room.

Briefly introduce yourself and your subject, but get straight into roll call. Be careful with students’ names. Names are personal.

Next, tell them about your background: a bit about family, what you did over the summer that was really cool, and/or things you like to do in your free time.

Tell them that you’d like to get to know them a bit too. “What do you like to do in your free time – besides lots of studying – of course!” Ask each student around the room. If someone doesn’t want to share, don’t push them. Don’t let individual conversations go too long since the classmates are just sitting. (While I’m at it, a colleague once told me that many teachers have the habit of leaning closer when talking with an individual since that is generally good to do; but in a classroom, it sends a message that everyone else is off duty. If the teacher steps back, often the student will speak louder and classmates listen in.)

After introductions, give the rules briefly. (If you have been smiling, stop now.) Tell the students you want everyone’s eyes on you because you don’t want them to miss what you’re about to say.Tell them you expect them to be on time, to be prepared for class, and to be engaged in whatever the day’s activity is. That is what you expect from them. Ask, Is there anything they expect from you? (Be prepared for requests like “I don’t want homework on weekends", and--if you can agree to it--tell them you'll make that a goal for the year.) Some might say they want you to be fair or not yell or other reasonable requests. Tell them you’ll do your very best.

Then give them a written assignment. If your class periods are long, this is a good time to get a writing sample from each kid (for older kids, you could prompt Tell me about the last thing you read by choice, or for most any kid, Describe a place you love, whether you’ve been there or not, mentioning what you see, hear, smell, etc.). At the least, get several ways to contact the student’s guardians since the computer program that your school uses may or may not be updated regularly.

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