Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sharing tips for the opening days of school from Principal Henry


1.Every day is a day for instruction. The APs and I will be making 5 minute pit-stops to coach. The feedback sessions will be quick and informal. The goal - to jump start the implementation of rigor in the classroom through (W)riting, (I)nquiry, (C)ollaboration, (O)rganization, and (R)eading.

2. Set the ground rules for your classroom such as how to use Cornell Notes and be CONSISTENT
  • You do it-the students watch. 
  • You do it-the students help. 
  • Students do it - you help. 
  • Students do it - you watch and evaluate. Need a rubric - ask your AP.

3. Quick way to get to know the students. This technique works I have used it. Make a model with chart paper with your name in the middle.

A.   Have them take looseleaf paper and fold it in half.
B.   Have students use a marker to print their name in the middle.
C.   Then have them place something about them in each corner - for example - upper left corner a drawing of what they did this summer, lower left corner - print a word or two that best describes them (friendly, athletic, etc.), upper right corner a drawing of their favorite hobby or activity, lower right corner - favorite movie.
D.  After students are done, then tell them to get in groups of three. After 2-3 minutes have them switch to another group.
                     i.        For the more courageous - sometimes it is fun to have some music for this activity - as soon as the music begins they need to get into a group of three ). Stop the music - and have them share what they have drawn in one (or two) of the corners. After about 2-3 minutes start the music again and have them regroup into another - this time with different people. Share what is in the other corners. After doing this a few times,
E.   Have everyone sit down and select people to tell about what they learned about someone else in the room.

5. Check out this link for other ice-breaker activities to get to know the students: http://www.mmsa.info/sites/default/files/Icebreakers%20and%20Name%20Games.pdf. It will pay off.

or copy and paste it in your browser for a 5 minute explanation about Costas Levels of Questions. 
The video is for YOU to view and NOT the class. 
The video provides a clear explanation about the three levels of questions. Students get the three levels of questions when it is connected to a reading you are doing in the classroom.

  • You have to follow it up with a reading selection in which you have preplanned level 1, 2 and 3 questions. It works particularly if the text is challenging - which most texts are written 1-2 years above grade level. The reading selection can be a page, a paragraph from a newspaper, video with short reading selection or internet site. Modeling is key.
    • You do it-the students watch. 
    • You do it-the students help. 
    • Students do it - you help. 
Students do it - you watch and evaluate. Need a rubric - ask your AP

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