Christmas break is now over, and it is now time to welcome back our precious darlings.
When I was in my first year of teaching I was enrolled in a teaching preparation class. I remember going to class right before school was to resume and receiving this message.
"You must reteach your procedures and expectations or you will be in a living Hades until summer break!!"
Okay, I don't think it was quite that dramatic, but the message was a clear one. After an extended break the students seemed to have forgotten even the basic come in to my room and sit in your assigned seat. It was insane. By the end of the first semester, I had 6th graders, without a sound, coming in, sitting down and getting straight to work. The students had only a small break and they had reverted back to the first day of school.
(If you are unsure about teaching procedures you should start at The Teacher Toolkit. If you have more time you should get The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, 4th Edition. This is a great "how to" book by Harry Wong.)
I have tried a couple different methods in my quest to reteach procedures. My first couple of years I was revved up on PowerPoint. Over the past couple of years, however, I have switched gears to Prezi. For this year, I am using the same Prezi I made for the first day of school procedures and just copied over what I needed the students to remember. This years reteaching includes:
- How to enter the classroom
- What materials are needed for class- pencil, notebook, ect.
- How we should treat each other
- The class reward system
- What is expected of them
- How to use class materials
There are many more procedures to be retaught but I always wait so not to overload them. Their brains are already full of stuff as it is. :-)