[topic for the September 14 livechat]
I have specific goals for each September week:
Week 1: learn their names (~85 students), get organized with supplies, firmly establish class routines [sign-out policy, how to enter the room, how I get your attention, etc.], introduce flipping as a concept
Week 2: maintain class routines, teach them "how to watch videos", make some connections, introduce 'doing history'
Week 3: ease into the content (daily life in pre-Revolution America), assign & assess first academic video lesson,
Week 4: first attempts at academic discussion (religious differences then and now), more 'doing history', introduce the concept of historical thinking
For the first few days, these kids are basically jet-lagged. Many of them have not woken up this early for several weeks! I believe it is foolish to jump right into the curriculum. In November I have never thought, "We spent too much time establishing routines at the start of the year!" Instead I always wish I had spent more time on those systems, because we waste a couple minutes every period with inefficient activity and incessant reminders.
Here is the most recent way that flipping helped me with class time. I think the classic syllabus review of grading categories, homework policies, quiz formats, etc. is a SOUL-KILLER in those early days. So I didn't do it: Last Sunday I recorded myself against my bedroom door [good acoustics & non-distracting background] with Office365 Mix talking about those syllabus items one at a time. For all the kids who really wanna know this stuff, they can follow the link on my school webpage. Click the swan below if you want to see that video:
- an interactive classroom tour to point out relevant items (like where to find tissues!)
- setting up class binders with me (not as homework, when it never gets done correctly)
- practice to enter the classroom (2 or 3 times per period) so we always do it right!
- a thoughtful exploration of how teachers teach and why (to introduce flipping) using the document linked below:
Does anybody else start the year in a similar way?