Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Preplanning and the First Days of School

School has started for me, August 8th to be exact. I was looking forward to starting school this year, I always am, but this year was different because I am at a new school, and I am teaching Alg II/Trig and Stats/Discrete this year.
I know some teachers always wonder what should I do for parents on registration and open house and we as math teachers always wonder about the 1st day of school activities for our upper level math classes.
1.     Registration – For us this the day where parents and students can pick up their schedules, walk around and meet their new teachers. I usually have an about me powerpoint on the board, including such information as my educational background, how many years I have been teaching and any special notes. I also make small little supply lists and hand them to the students/parents. If you feel comfortable in doing so I tell my students that if their parents email me by the end of the first week of school they get 5 bonus points on first test. This gets me a lot of email address from parents that I save in my inbox folders for later recall.  
2.     First Day of School – Dan Meyer the high school math guru himself created a first day wiki a couple of years ago here is the link I pretty much follow it 2 a T J
3.     Open House – I am working on something new for Open House this year. Last year I won a grant that included a HD Flip Video Camera. I am going to film me doing activities with the students first 2 weeks of school, have the kids do a what you need to know about our class video. Our procedures, rules, grading, etc… and show it to the parents on Open House. Open House shouldn’t be about here is my syllabus and grading scale. It should be to show parents what their child is learning and they can help the teacher in facilitating that goal.
4.     Emergency Sub Plans – Once again why re-create the wheel when someone already has keys to get us there. Here is Sam Shah’s post about emergency plans for Sub.


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