Monday, August 11, 2014

The First Days of School: Unit B: LINKY

Hello everyone!  Today we're discussing Unit B of The First Days of School.  If you've read the book, or even if you haven't read the book, link up with me!  I want to hear your thoughts!

Grab this image, include it in your post, and link it back here! OR Pin it! :)

Unit B is all about positive expectations.  I really liked how on page 37, the authors say, "Expectations are different than standards."  It's really a good point to keep in mind, because standards are levels of achievement.  Standards are the academic concepts we teach our students.  An expectation is what you believe will or will not happen.

Another good point to keep in mind:
"Humans have a success instinct." (p.35)  It goes on to say that we can accomplish anything with our students if we have high expectations.

This unit reminded me of a video I came across about a year ago, which many of you have probably already seen before.  I feel it's a good reminder that WE set the expectations for our students.  And that EVERY student can succeed if we show them we care about them.

Page 45 begins to discuss how schools, parents, students, and the community should celebrate the first day of school.  Some schools have had big assemblies where parents and students wear formal attire.

1.  How does your school celebrate the first day?  Are teachers required to be outside of their classrooms greeting students as they enter the building?

During my first year of teaching, I had a student whom I had a hard time "reaching".  He never wanted to participate and often had outbursts and would storm out of the room.  He would slink into the classroom every morning during morning work, not saying a word to anybody.  Every morning, I would greet him with a smile, saying, "Good morning, _______!"  I would stop whatever I was doing to greet him.  Most days, he wouldn't respond.  After a few weeks of consistency, he began to greet me back.  "Good morning, Miss Woodward!"

2.  Does your school or district have a dress code?  What is it?  Do you think how you dress determines whether or not you're effective as a teacher?

While I do think it's important for teachers to be dressed appropriately, I didn't agree with everything on the "What's In" and "What's Out" list on page 57.  Some examples:

What's in: Career suits for women; bright colors for elementary teachers; soft, muted colors for secondary teachers.

What's Out: Excessive jewelry; blue denim only on Saturdays; and bold prints, plaids, and colors are no-no's.

Do you agree?

One last point from the unit:  In Chapter 10, page 71, the authors discuss using manners like "Please" and "Thank you".  While I agree with this point, I recently got some good advice from a teacher friend. She said, "Do not say 'Please' or 'Thank you' for expected behaviors."  For example, "Class, please sit down." Or, "Class, quiet down.  Thank you."  Because those are behaviors you would expect for learning to take place, you should not use "Please" or "Thank you".  Now, if a student gives you a beautiful picture or you need to ask a student to grab something off the shelf, then you should use "Please" and "Thank you".  To me, it made perfect sense!  What do you think?

3.  What were your biggest take-aways from this Unit?

Now it's your turn!
Write a post answering the three questions, post it, copy the page URL, and then link it up below!

Next Monday, we will be looking at Unit C: Classroom Management.  Looking forward to it!  :)

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