Welcome to the start of a new school year! This week our two middle schools welcomed over 160 new fifth graders into the TEAM and family. Soon we’ll welcome over 500 new kindergarteners into seats at each of our five elementary schools.
Because the first days of school are so important, we’re starting a series called New Year, New You to help you get started on the right foot.
In the coming weeks, you can expect to see posts from TEAM 101, the course we start every new-to-TEAM teacher with in the summer. We’ll also add posts on setting up routines the right way, creating systems that work, and some other basic teaching skills that you’ll want to use starting on the first day.
Until then, here are some previous posts you may want to re-read in case you missed them, or as a refresher while you plan.
Creating Systems to Keep Things Moving
The beginning of the year is a great time to create systems in your classrooms that will last the whole year. Check out this post on teaching kids to track the speaker (with video!). It’s geared for elementary kids, but can be cross-applied to kids of any age.
But why stop there? This post on teaching SLANT is a must-read.
SLANT is a tool we use on day one of fifth grade at the middle school and early on in elementary. It’s a great way to use fewer words to get kids re-focused. It’s great for kids too, because now they know what the behavioral expectations are in your classroom, and have a common language to get feedback.
Hone Your Craft – for Day One
We’re also here to help ensure you have the teaching tools you need to start off successfully. While we’re planning posts that will help you become a better teacher – from giving better directions, to waiting for 100 percent – we have some resources you can brush up on for now.
Some techniques and strategies are really person-specific. Others, like criteria for success, are more far-reaching and usable. Regardless of what you teach, using criteria for success can help you plan better and communicate expectations better with students.
Some teachers like the idea of blended learning, but don’t know how to pull it off (yet). In this post, we walk you through how one teacher uses Khan Academy in his classroom (with great success) and give you tips. Check out the video for even more guidance.
Khan isn’t just for math, so make sure you check out all the objectives there to see what might work for you.
While you’re wrapping up summer, take some time to plan what you’ll cover next year. This post on setting up kids for summer success can help you plan break work now, so you have less to worry about as Thanksgiving, winter, spring and summer breaks approach.
Of course, sometimes you just need some inspiration. Check out these interviews with founding school leader Anne Kadowaki, or TEAM technology teacher Kristen Sigler. Both will help you think outside the box as you make decisions on how your classroom, curriculum and systems should be set up.
We’ll be back soon with new posts that help you get ready. Until then, Let us know what you’d like to see in the comments below.