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Opening Times

Throughout the day, I ask a few students to try to stump the rest of us. After the students sit and I take roll, I ask them to take out a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil for their first test of the school year. I explain to them -- in complete seriousness, of course -- that this will be the hardest test of the entire year because they have not prepared in class for the test. I have them title the paper "Teacher. The questions might include Where was I born? The test can be as long or short as you wish; make the questions fit the things you would want them to know.

You can imagine the looks on their faces when asked these questions. I tell them they received their very first in my class if they answered all of the questions correctly! At the end of the "test," I give the answers, and the kids marvel at the discrepancy of their answers. One of my favorite things to see is a student who was in my class the previous year. They always think they'll make a They never do! With younger students, when they're right they think they can predict the future!

Peek Into Summer. Divide a bulletin board into "window panes," using white strips of paper. Create one window pane for each child in your class. Assign two children to bring in some object each day, such as a shell, that represents what they had fun doing this past summer. Put the items in small zip-lock plastic bags. After each presentation, mount the plastic bags on each child's "window pane.

It's a wonderful, repetitive book that tells the "important thing" about a variety of things, such as a spoon, an apple, the wind, etc. After we read the book and discover its repetitive form, we write our own More Important Book.

199 ESL Lesson Plans / Worksheets

Each child tells about himself or herself, following the format of The Important Book. This is a wonderful and fun way to get to know one another, and the book is read throughout the year. Susan Wallace, St.

Agatha Academy; Winchester, Kentucky. Let's Hear It! I believe students are more interested in school when they have a hand in their own learning. I ask my sophomores to write a few paragraphs explaining what they would like to get out of my American government class. If they could teach the class themselves, how would they make it more interesting and what would they avoid doing? To get communication going between students who aren't necessarily friends, I start the year off with a game of BINGO.

Each square on the card includes a brief description. Examples: Visited Florida this summer, Is an avid waterskier, Has a big brother and little sister, Was born in another country, Lives nearest the school, Learned how to skateboard this summer, Didn't see the movie Titanic, Likes anchovies on pizza, Was born in the same month as you, Has a brother or sister in the same school, Favorite subject is science, Has an ear pierced more than once, Father's name is Jim, Read more than one book this summer, Speaks two languages, Has two pets.

Students walk around the room and get the signature of someone who fits the specific description in each box. To make it harder, have students fill every square with a different student's signature and set a time limit. When a student has a BINGO one name signed per square give the person a small prize, such as being first in line that day. This is a great way to learn special things about your students and help get them to know one another.

An alternative: Set this up as a scavenger hunt with a series of questions, each question with a line beside it. Students are given a time limit to circle the classroom and find someone who has "been there, done that. Each square on this card contains a question. Click here for a sample card created by teacher Peg Teeter. Have each student fill in the answers for ALL questions beside number 1.


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Wait for all students to finish. Then students find classmates with the same answers written in each box. The classmate with a matching answer prints his or her initials on line 2. Peg Teeter, St. Stephen School; Oil City, Pennsylvania. Going in Circles For the entire first day of school, I arrange all the desks in a large circle, with everyone facing the center.

BusyTeacher: Free Printable Worksheets For Busy English Teachers

This makes it easy for the children to talk and get to know one another. Then I ask each child to introduce himself or herself. The children must also provide one fact about themselves. As we go around the circle, students try to repeat the information names and facts about each of the other students in the circle. Jump Into Science This activity is intended to get high school science students thinking about the scientific process -- what is the issue or problem, what do we know, what do we need to know. Issue texts, group students, and provide the following activity: Invite students to scan the first chapter of their text -- or the Table of Contents, which introduces major areas typically covered in the course.

As a group, select a topic or related issue.


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Is this a controversial issue? That is, is there an ongoing debate related to it? Identify what you as a group know about this topic or issue. Determine what facts or information you as a group would like to know about this topic or issue. How would you go about answering the questions that you have just raised? Discuss in what way s this issue is relevant to you?

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After about 20 minutes, I stop the discussion and invite each group to share its responses. Twenty Questions One of my objectives is to get the kids used to "true participation" and to the idea that being wrong can lead to being right! Playing Twenty Questions is a great tie-in to what I start class with the following day -- how sometimes we learn as much or more from being wrong as from being right. The game is easy and requires no set-up or materials. I choose an item in the room, and students have to guess what it is.

They can ask only questions that I can answer with either yes or no. For example: "Is it blue? I stress that that person would never have gotten it without everybody else's help; the "no" answers helped as much as the "yes" answers did. I also get to be a participant and to point out that sometimes I am wrong too! The tone of friendly cooperation on the first day lasts into the school year, and the first day becomes part of a lesson, not just a day of record keeping.

Who Am I? Students write four or five statements about themselves. The last line is a question: "Who Am I? The first person to guess correctly gets to choose who guesses next. They share the sheets with the class and each student's sheet becomes part of his or her portfolio.

Holiday on Ice 2005 - Romanza

The Math About Me information might include birthday, address numbers, phone number, sports number, favorite number, number of pets, number of people in the family, etc. When the students gather together to share their numbers, they see what numbers they have in common with their classmates, and everyone learns a little bit about one another. The numbers are then used to make a Math About Me poster. I take a snapshot of each child for the center of the poster. Then the kids design the math facts in a colorful, interesting presentation.

We use these as a hallway bulletin board. Alphabetical Roll! After introducing yourself, create some chaos. Tell students they have three minutes to complete their first assignment: "Sort yourselves in alphabetical order by last name. Whatever "it" might be, they can do it! Rene Kehau Schofield.

Activities for first lessons 1

Westmont High School; Campbell, California. Puzzling Activity Students use colorful markers to write their names in big letters on a sheet of drawing paper. Under their names, they write several sentences describing themselves, for example, favorite things, family info, hobbies, and pet info. Then hand out blank puzzles which can be found in craft stores -- cheap! After the quizzing, I give my students a minute to decide among themselves which sentence they think was a lie, and the winner gets some candy yes, my adult students are absolutely over the moon with some candy on the first day, teenagers slightly harder to please when it comes to the choice of treats….