For me, instead of the traditional "Hi! I am Mrs. Menge. This year as a classroom community, we will..." I like to have students begin to feel safe in class, as well as learn about me, their peers, and the fun we will have throughout the year.
From the amazing mind of Jon Corippo, I have adapted Smart Start. Smart Start states that "By creating an optimal experience for kids in the first few days of school, we can enhance academics. For students to be engaged, creative and passionate learners, they need a place of learning that is: welcoming, open and consistent." All educators want their students to feel safe and cared for! So why not incorporate experiences that build community while learning skills they will need in my class all year.
In fact, I barely introduced myself! I had Weird Al Yankovic's "Word Crimes" playing as students walked and I said "Hello".
Day Two was all about learning about our environment-the school's that is! Again, I briefly said hello and had them discuss what QR codes and scavenger hunts have in common. Then off they went! I LOVE the scavenger hunt as it shows and teaches students where basic areas are: the bathrooms, the nurse, office, library, etc. But also introduces them to our class website, classroom information, and more. Simple, fun, #eduawesome!
|SMART Amp Class Workspace|
Once again, I started the year focused on STUDENTS and creating a caring environment all the while learning tools needed for the year. I wish I could spend more time doing SMART Start, as I didn't get to do my "Google Yourself Challenge", the Teach Like a Pirate "Island Activity", and some
By cultivating those connections and a safe environment, students will not be afraid to fail, make mistakes, and thus learn even more. Students will give you all they can and succeed because YOU believe they can. It's those little things that make a HUGE difference.
BE THAT DIFFERENCE.