Over the next few posts, I think I will explore these questions a little and try to explain how we set up our "culture" that helps create an inspiring classroom. So here is Day ONE of the new school year.
Over the last six years, Mike and I have tried to spend several weeks at the start of school creating a culture that is different from many classes. We do not "jump" into content, but guide students to a true feeling of trust and respect. From the first day (Harry Wong, not for me), we do things differently.
The Harry Wong, not for me post is one of the most popular posts on TFT. However, the number one question I am asked is how do we really do what that post is describing. This year I used a Swivl and an Iphone4 to record that first day lesson with my new students. My classes are 43 minutes, the film shows 10 minutes or so. I think the film clip below shows how I start my classes on a Quest of inquiry and trust building from the minute they walk into the room.
The movie below has images from the google presentation I used the first day this year. I have to tell you a few things about the first day:
1. I wait at the door, greet each child and have them pick a card. They find a match tapped to a desk and that is their seat.
2. I start with a quote by a 12 year old from three years ago....We talk about why that is the first thing they see when they come into my room.
"A student cannot master what is in the darkness, if there is not someone to light the way" S.M.P--Second film below is when I first saw this quote. He was part of 8 students we took to document a teacher PD day when Mike and I were the keynotes (March 2011)--see post
3. Then I start with the three key things this class is about: YOU, LEGACY, CREATIVITY.
4. Then we spend 25-30 minutes on the chalk image and activity.
5. Period end, they leave and I hope are thinking about what just happened.
We will not start "CONTENT" for several weeks--You will even hear me mention this in the film clip. It take time and effort to build a lasting trusting relationship that changes teaching and learning...
Let me know you thoughts.