Tips on Your First Day at School – Week 2

Last week we spoke about the first day of school, and the importance of being flexible with your lesson plan as well as letting the children get to know a little more about you as a person. So this week we are going to look at engaging with your new class so that you can learn more about them and how they learn best as a group.

Name Learning Exercises

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This can be in conjunction with them getting to know you. As you go around the class, ask that each child says their name clearly and also says one fact about themselves. This can be anything from their favourite colour to the latest film they watched to the number of siblings they have. These answers will facilitate discussion, help to break up the tension and will also provide anchoring points in helping you to remember the names of your students.

Sometimes strange questions like: “tell us something about yourself that nobody knew before” can be good or bad. Try to read the tone of the class. This question could be good as students will be eager to think of an original answer, or it can be a bad question as it could cause long periods of silence. Simpler questions are in general better, but try to think up your own.

Community

Teamwork is crucial. Building a sense of community in class will really help when engaging your students in class discussion. If you try to encourage the idea of your class as a ‘team’ by engaging in group activities and encouraging other children to help their peers who seem to be struggling, this will help your relationship with your class as a whole.

Students tend to perform better when you build a sense of community because they will feel more connected to the class and to the instructor. An established sense of community will help students feel more comfortable when they enter your class, which makes it easier for them to concentrate and makes them more receptive to your teachings.

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