The first week of school is THE most important week of the year. What happens on those days will set the tone for the rest of the year! But what's the best way to start? Should you start with your students in rows or in cooperative learning teams? Should you be strict and "lay down the law" or relax and have fun with your new class? Should you try to cover any content on the first day or spend the time getting to know your students?
I've had teachers ask me these questions and many others about how I start my school year. They want to know what I do the first few days to create a caring classroom with just the right amount of structure to foster creativity and a love of learning. I created a page on Teaching Resources called Caring Classroom to share some of those strategies, and I've gradually been adding resources to it.
By following some amazing teacher blogs, I discovered many others who have outstanding ideas for sowing those critical seeds of success at the beginning of the year. There are so many aspects to creating a caring classroom and encouraging lifelong learning, and I'm certainly not the only expert. So I invited some of my favorite teacher bloggers to join me in a webinar to share our strategies for developing a caring classroom community.
Sowing the Seeds of Success Webinar
Five terrific bloggers accepted my invitation and joined me for the webinar, which we called "Sowing the Seeds of Success: Creating a Caring Classroom." Rachel Lynette, Christi Fultz, Mandy Neal, Ari Huddleston and I shared our favorite strategies for getting the year off to a great start. This webinar was actually recorded two summers years ago, but if you missed it you can find the recording on my Caring Classrooms page. The activities and ideas shared during the webinar are all still relevant and will help you get off to a great start this year.
After you watch the webinar recording, be sure to check out some of the resources and activities on my Caring Classrooms page. What are your favorite strategies for getting your year off to a great start? Please share your ideas in a comment below!