First Day of School Activity That Says WOW! by Rhett Oldham

Back to School Blog by Educator Rhett Oldham.  Look for an upcoming webinar featuring Rhett on the Event Section of the PLN!

I love Google Classroom!   That is certainly not an original statement but an apt one for returning teachers.  I have just prepped my first three weeks of school by hitting the "reuse post" option, examining my old lessons, adding and subtracting from them to make them better, and copying them to my other classes.  What a cool feature...but I digress.  This post is about setting your room culture on day one.

I do not use paper in my classroom.  All of my students have computers, and I want them working on their Chromebook from the very first day.  However, I also want a kinesthetic environment, meaning I want my students moving--my Middle School teacher colleagues certainly understand this!  As result, I have put together a pretty fun first day that sets the tone for the school year.
Everyone has a "rules and expectations" time when students first walk in and that is to be expected.  I use a Haiku Deck for this but you can use Google Slides, or PowerPoint if you wish.  After that I have them open up a Fakebook template.  This is a Google Draw page that has directions for the students to complete.  Fakebook Template

Take a look at the Intro Page and the directions.  Students are going to be talking about themselves, which we all love to do, but more importantly, they will be talking to each other.  They will be moving around and having fun using technology.  Our students are all about pictures, so I want them to take fun ones by using a great Chromebook add-on called Webcam Toy.   The students have a blast with this, and they take really fun pictures that I love to see.   It's the first day of school; make it fun, but engaging because students are excited anyway!  Webcam Toy

Finally, I usually have music playing in my classroom but now I want my students to be creating their own.  I was at an EdTech Conference and learned about this one--Incredibox.  Incredibox  I just love this because the beat is infectious.  Incredibox is so user friendly--quick to create and fun to use.  Students can create an entire line in minutes and submit the link using the share button. 

At the end of the lesson, students will submit their Fakebook template and their Incredibox beat to Google Classroom.  They will have used a webcam toy to take their pictures.  As a result, in one class period, my students have been introduced to four pieces of technology, and they are up moving around doing it.  Your kids will be amazed at how fast the hour goes by, and you will be enjoy hearing kids laugh and talk and include you in their fun. 

As a result, my students have been introduced to my expectations.  My class is fast-paced--so time management is critical--highly engaging, tech heavy, and everything has a purpose. 
Hope you enjoy the first post from 5-Minute University.  Let me know what you think, how you can make the lesson better, and if you have questions about any of the technology.   Take care and best of luck on your first day of school!

Rhett Oldham | 8/11/2016 10:41:10 AM | 0 comments
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