Monday, June 17, 2013

The First day of school -in an Immersion Classroom Management 2

My colleagues and I often say "we will try this next year!" Time really flies when you are in class. To avoid saying too much "we will do this next year", we can only plan and plan.

In the previous post, I mentioned about numbering everything. This can really save your breath. I even number all the papers that need to go home with the students. The reason? If you have taught younger grades you remember how easily papers disappear in thin air after you hand the papers to their tiny hands.  Another thing is if you pick up a note, a homework, or something you handed out earlier and ask to whom it belongs, the chances of someone saying they are the owner are thin. I numbered everything even in English classroom. No need to argue when I show the number to the student. Sometimes funny thing happens, the student might say they already have the papers in their backpack. Ask them to bring it out and you can see who took the wrong ones and who doesn't care about cleaning their mailboxes. A numbered work/document really saves your breath, just saying.

There will be materials you want the students to take home and some materials to stay in classroom.  Since many Immersion teachers have 2 classes share the same room, how to organize these materials deserve some thinking too. In my school, one class uses the desk to store materials and another class uses seat pockets. We bought some seat pockets from Really Good Stuff.  They are holding up quiet well. My partner teacher and I took them home and threw them in washer at the end of school year and they are ready for next year.

First few days or weeks are really for building relationship and routine (or procedures).  Students need to learn : how to walk in quietly, how to hang backpacks, how to choose lunch, how to sit down quietly, how to stand up, how to come to the front, how to line up, how to get out supplies, how to listen, how to react, how to walk in the hallway, how to help teachers, how to listen, and how to learn.  Students need to hear these things million times and practice million times. (Maybe not million times, but you get the ideas.)

Keep the language acquisition order in mind, listening, talking, reading, and writing. So, there is no need to give tons of reading and writing work at the beginning. Students need to hear and get used to the second language until they are comfortable with it.

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