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The Best Laid Plans

StarrPoints You've spent the last few weeks decorating bulletin boards, planning activities, collecting supplies, writing letters to students and parents, reading articles and texts on classroom management, and practicing personal relaxation techniques. You're efficient and organized. Your carefully thought out plans for the first day of school include an appropriate mix of fun, educational, and administrative introductory activities. You are ready, able, and full of anticipation. It's going to be a wonderful year! But is it going to be the year you planned?



Day 1 Plans

7:30: Arrive at school early for last minute check. Recount supplies. Review class list. Post bell-ringer activity.

8:00: Stop in teachers lounge to visit with colleagues. A bracing cup of coffee!

8:30: Greet each student at door with smile, introduction, handshake. Provide each student with name tag. Tell students to choose desks, attach nametags, and complete bell ringer activity.


9:00: Greeting, Pledge, calendar, word of the day.



9:30: Get to know one another; try an Education World Icebreaker.



10:00: Develop class rules; try the Education World School "Rules"! Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules lesson plan.


10:30: Students to phys. ed. Post classroom rules on bulletin board. Create seating chart. Relaxing cup of coffee!


11:00: Distribute pencils and paper. Explain seatwork.

11:05: Small group reading to assess current skills.





12:00: Students to restroom.


12:15: Students to cafeteria. Quick sandwich and coffee. Correct seatwork and display on bulletin board.


12:40: Recess duty.

1:00: Explain routine for returning from recess. (Silent reading!)

1:05: Distribute and introduce social studies texts. Assign Chapter 1 for homework.

1:30: Computer lab. Introduce and discuss rules for computer use. Organize students into pairs to complete Introductory Internet Activity worksheet.



2:00: Students to restroom.

2:10: Introduce Science Center. Demonstrate My Teacher Caused an Earthquake activity.




2:30: Math Bee to assess current skills.



3:00: Review day's activities. Distribute student information forms to be filled out at home.



3:15: Explain and follow dismissal routine.

A Great Beginning!


Day 1 Diary

7:30: Arrive at school for last minute check. Discover six students have been added to class list. No additional supplies!

8:00: Run to drugstore to buy pencils.

8:30: Greet three students at door with smile, introduction, handshake, name tag. Fourth student throws up. Comfort student four. Send to nurse. Call for custodian. Tell students to find a book to read. (Forgot to post bell ringer!) Answer questions about remaining nametags.

9:00: Settle students down. Discuss appropriate classroom behavior. Begin Pledge of Allegiance. Student announces he is not required to say Pledge. Three others agree. Five students threaten to beat up students objecting to Pledge. Discuss appropriate classroom behavior. Tell four students they may remain silent during Pledge. Complete Pledge. Omit calendar, word of the day.

9:30: Greeting and introductions interrupted by loudspeaker announcement welcoming students back to school.

9:45: Omit icebreaker. Distribute remaining nametags. Instruct students to choose desks, attach nametags. Discuss appropriate classroom behavior. Explain that everyone cannot sit in the back row. Direct some students to front row.

10:00: Child arrives late, with parent. Parent says child has attention problems and must sit in front row. Rearrange seating.

10:15: Discuss appropriate classroom behavior. Postpone activity for developing classroom rules. Replace with Education World QuickTivity.

10:30: Students to phys. ed. Discover phys.ed teacher doesn't start until next week. Students to restroom. Return to classroom. Discuss appropriate restroom behavior.

10:45: Distribute pencils and paper. Refuse student permission to go to restroom. Student threatens to tell principal. Explain seatwork. Answer questions about seatwork.

11:00: Begin small group reading to assess current skills. Refuse to answer more questions about seatwork.

11:10: Principal arrives with two new students. Both are ESL students and should sit in front of classroom. Student complains to principal about being refused permission to go to restroom. Second student complains to principal about teacher refusal to explain seatwork. Rearrange seating to accommodate new students. Discuss appropriate classroom behavior.

11:20: Postpone reading assessment. Begin activity to develop classroom rules.

11:25: Loudspeaker announcement of change in lunch schedule. Help first-year teacher with lunch duty.

11:50: Indoor recess. (Summer playground upgrade not yet completed.)

12:10: Return from recess. Remind students of appropriate lunchroom behavior and of post-recess routine. Answer questions about location of books for silent reading. Begin activity to develop classroom rules.

12:15: Special education teacher arrives with inclusion student who must sit in front of classroom. Rearrange seating. Discuss appropriate classroom behavior.

12:30: Begin activity to develop classroom rules. Loudspeaker announces surprise assembly: police officer discussing school safety.

1:00: Discuss appropriate auditorium behavior. Activity to develop classroom rules. Omit social studies lesson. (Not enough texts anyway!)

1:30: Computer lab. Point out that rules for classroom behavior also apply to computer lab. Introduce and discuss special rules for Internet use. Answer questions about rules for Internet use. Turn on computers. Restart crashed computers. Remind students of rules for appropriate classroom behavior. Answer questions about Internet use. Restart crashed computers. Repeat rules for Internet use. Next scheduled class arrives. Omit Introductory Internet Activity worksheet.

2:00: Students to restroom.

2:10: Remind students of rules for restroom behavior. Introduce Science Center. Begin demonstration of Make a Rainbow activity. Student knocks glass of water off table. Mop up water. Send wet, weeping student to nurse. Remind students of rules for appropriate classroom behavior. Provide students with URL and encourage them to complete experiment at home with parents. Respond to questions from students without home computers. Attempt to print and distribute activity directions. Printer malfunctions. Promise to repeat demonstration tomorrow.

2:30: Remind students of rules for classroom behavior. Refuse permission to go to restroom. Student threatens to sue. Begin Math Bee.

2:35: Loudspeaker announcement reminding students of school rules for cafeteria, hallway, auditorium, recess behavior. Adds that specials will not start until next week.

2:45: Education World QuickTivity. Omit Math Bee.

3:00: Begin to review day's activities, interrupted by loudspeaker announcement reminding teachers to distribute student information forms and reminding students to return forms tomorrow. Explain to class that there are not enough student information forms for everyone. Promise to make copies and distribute tomorrow. Three students burst into tears. Two threaten to report shortage to principal.

3:15: Dismiss students to buses. Stand outside classroom and remind students of rules for hallway behavior.

3:30-5:00: Restroom!! Quick sandwich and cup of coffee. Post rules for classroom, hallway, cafeteria, auditorium, restroom, computer lab, recess, and post-recess behavior on bulletin board. Post tomorrow's bell ringer activity on chalkboard. Make and display sign directing students to approved books for silent reading. Assign seats, create seating chart, rearrange nametags on desks. Check with principal about Pledge procedures. Discuss inclusion student with special ed teacher. Place phone calls to parents of nauseous student, wet student, students who refused to recite Pledge. Accept calls from parents of students concerned about shortage of student information forms. Reviving cup of coffee! Attempt to make additional copies of forms. Find paper, refill copier. Copier malfunctions.

5:15: Stop at copy store.

Only 179 Days to Go!