Wow! Summer just flew by. It is time to start getting things ready for the new school year. In my district we start the middle of August. When do you go back?
With that in mind, what do you do the first 9 weeks of school? How do you get things started in your classroom? Here is how I am starting out the year.
First 2 Weeks
Since I am teaching 7th graders, I like to start the year with some get to know you activities to help the students feel safe and welcome in a new school. One of these activities is my All About Me Doodle Notes. This is the perfect Back To School activity to get to know your students. The students have 10 tasks to complete--
*Draw a Selfie
*Answer 5 "Casual" questions
*Answer 3 Somewhat Personal questions
*Answer 1 Very Personal question
Students create their answers in a series of pictures and words. Then I love to hang these doodle notes around the classroom and outside in the hallway so they can get to know each other. This activity is also a great way to introduce using Sketchnotes/Doodle Notes to your students. My other get to know you activity comes from Addie Williams. It is her Soundtrack of My Life. You can find it on her TPT Store. It is a fun activity where students create a soundtrack with songs that represent who they are.
I want to review how to write in complete sentences with my students at the beginning of the year because it is one of the biggest grammatical mistakes that I see them make. I made a lesson where the students learn about the parts of a sentence from the book Super Grammar. It takes these concepts and ties them to Super Heroes and the grammar mistakes are Villains. Then I am going to do a fun station activity from Room 213 about Sentence Fragments and Run-ons. It is such an engaging and hands on activity for the students to learn and review fragments and run-ons. You can find this in her TPT store.
Central Idea and Supporting Details
One of our big focuses at the beginning of the year is for students to identify the central ideas and its supporting details in a text. We also want them to be able to write a summary. To teach these concepts we are going to be reading The Outsiders. We will be reading articles about different things the students will encounter while reading the novel, and the students will practice finding the central idea and supporting details in the articles. Then as they read the novel, they will be looking for obstacles or at-risk behaviors the characters face. They will be summarizing the behavior and use a sentence frame to cite the behavior or obstacle. You can find this activity in my TPT Store.
Informational Text Structures
We will be focusing on 3 text structures--Chronology, Description, and Compare and Contrast. Since our theme and essential question for these 9 weeks is "Everyone has a story," we are going to have the students tell their story. We love how this goes along with The Outsiders and the story that Ponyboy tells about the Greasers and Socs. We want our students to tell their story. So, they will be creating a life map of the highs and lows in their life. Then they will write a description piece about a hurdle they have overcome in their own life. Finally, they will be comparing and contrasting who they are vs. who they want to be.