Welcome to Your New Classroom Everyone Place Essay

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Welcome to your new classroom, everyone place their backpacks and jackets on the hooks with your nametags and take a seat at a desk. Each of you will take all the materials you need from your backpack before you sit down, but today you don't need anything but a smile. You can sit where you like because we are all going to work together to rearrange the classroom and mark the desks with these nametags I made for you. If you will notice the nametags are just plain white but you will have time in a few minutes to decorate your nametag and make it look more like yourself, with the supplies you see on the desks. There are a few things I will talk about while we decorate nametags." (Pass out nametags to students one at a time) "First, hold up your hand if you are new to the school this year and tell everyone your name and what you liked best about your old school, teacher or classroom and what you like so far best about your new school. I will point at each of you holding up your hand and you can tell all of us your name and what school you went to last year and your bests." (Take time for this welcome) "Now, all the returning students please, starting with the left side of the classroom at the front and going around as I point at you, tell us what teacher you had last year and tell me one thing you liked best about your teacher or classroom last year." (Take time to do this) "Now the next thing we will do is talk about some all school rules and classroom rules that are important while we build our nametags."

All School Rules/Standards

1. Bell schedule.

2. Tardy slips.

3. Attendance.

4. Fire drills. Line up by rows.

5. Recesses / Assemblies.

6. Hallway etiquette. Walking in a line together on the left or right depending on the direction too events and quietly walking in the hallway when alone or in small groups to the right when leaving the classroom and left when returning.

7. School Safety.

8. Who to tell if a stranger is in the school, without a visitors nametag. Teacher or closest school adult.

9. What to do if there is a school "lockdown," in the classroom, if we are in the gym, library, lunchroom or hallways. Return to classroom or stay put and wait for direction from a teacher or other school leader.

10. School policy on physical violence and hate speech.

Classroom Standards

1. Classroom greeting of teacher with an enthusiastic high five and a hello each day at the door.

2. Classroom attendance taken by roll call. Students are not to leave the classroom without permission, hall pass and a buddy. That means even to go to the restroom at appropriate times you will need to take an assigned buddy. Also, there will be healthy snacks and drinks at particular times and each student will bring a reusable water bottle to class, preferably one that can be hung on the backpack/coat rack and used when appropriate.

3. Respect each other's space, learning time and feelings. (Ask students to give you examples of what this means and have a brief discussion about the different ways people learn but that all students need to be respectful when others are talking or learning and keep their hands and bodies to themselves and their voices quiet)

4. Shared materials in cubby, when to use (have students neatly return all crafting materials to the proper cubbies from the nametag project)

5. Turn in all homework and assignments with your name at the top of the paper to the in box on teacher's desk (Show students where the inbox is) Then hand out the picture and letter find activity from the Time For School: We are Ready to Learn article and activity in the Weekly reader, with the instructions to put their name on the top of the page, do the activity and then quietly get up when they are done and put their work in the teachers inbox. ("Time For School…," 2008, pp. 1-3)

6. Quiet words and signal. "My code words to you when I think that the classroom needs to settle down and listen will be "Hot Rock" and then I will hold my hand up in a circle like I am holding a rock. If there are one or two people who are still not listening I might say your name(s) and throw the rock at you. When this happens I would like you turn your attention to me and to hold up your hand and pretend to catch my rock and then throw it back to me, so I know you have heard me and are settling in to learn."

At this point the students will pause to do the listening checkpoint with the teacher


Listen to your teacher read each question. Then circle each correct answer.

1. Who helps us cross the street?

crossing guard nurse teacher

2. Who helps keep the school clean?

nurse custodian crossing guard

3. Who helps us at school to stay healthy?

nurse crossing guard custodian

4. Who helps keep us safe in class?

crossing guard nurse teacher

Again reinforcing the name on the top and quietly turning in their assignment cheet to the teachers inbox. ("Listening Checkpoint…," 2010, pg. 14)

7. Define positive learning environment. (With student discussion) Ask students "What do you think a positive learning environment is?" Add to or amend the comments and suggestion of the class.

8. Mediation. When there are conflicts between students in the classroom or outside during school hours the process of mediation will be used as a first step in resolving the conflict. (explain the process of mediation) Mediation begins like this: Each person in the conflict will come together and choose a trained mediator. For the first couple weeks this will probably be me, but each time there is a need for a mediation I will try to get another student involved after they have had mediation training. The mediation begins first with each party being quite and then the person reporting the problem will have a chance to express their side of the story. Then the mediator will ask how the event made him/her feel and what they think the best response or outcome would be from the other student. Then the other student will have a chance to tell their side of the story and respond with what they think the best outcome should be. The trained mediator will then be asked to decide what each will do to resolve the conflict hopefully making each party feel better. There are a few situations such as physical violence or hate speech incidences which will require further action, because of school rules but otherwise mediation will be the process which conflicts are resolved. (Hold a discussion about what physical violence is and what hate speech is) A mediation script will be handed out to three volunteers and they will be asked to play the part of one of the three members of a mediation over a fictional classroom dispute, something funny and lighthearted that still might hurt a student's feelings under some circumstances. (Phillips-Hershey, 2003, p. 2)

At this point the class will get together in the reading area and listen to the audio of "A Scary First Day," about one of the Little Rock Nine students and her experience on her first day attending high school as a black girl in an all-white school. This exercise is intended to address the idea of fear of the unknown and how it makes people feel on the inside. The article does a…[continue]

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