A WARM WELCOME ACTIVITY
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Extending A Warm Welcome to Students on the First Day Author: Brenda Modified from: Susan Kovalik's ITI (Integrated Thematic Instruction) ITI: The Model by Susan Kovalik with Karen Olsen.ISBN-1-878631-18-7. The following is a list of ways that I feel you can help students feel comfortable on the first day and throughout the year. 1) Let students know that you are a "real" person. Tell them about yourself through pictures and stories. 2) If you want students to know that you care about them show them by greeting them at the door, use eye contact when speaking with them, show compassion and always be honest. 3) Establish procedures in the beginning. Let them know what is expected of them. Do not make a list of rules telling them what they can't do. Instead make a student created list of what is expected. For instance, do not say "Don't run in the hall," say "Walk calmly and quietly in the hall." Review the procedures often at the beginning of the year and as needed later. Most of all be consistant. 4) Create an atmosphere in the classroom that makes the students feel comfortable. The colors blue, green and purple are most calming. Natural lighting and plants are also good ideas for a comfortable classroom. TEACHER'S NOTE: This point hit home when the instuctor at the seminar I attended asked us to think about the places we go to feel relaxed and what colors were there. Try it. 5) Be realistic in your expectations. Don't expect the students to do more than they are capable of, this causes anxiety. At the same time don't make things so easy that they become bored. 6) Make an effort to create a community in your classroom. Use activities that help the class get to know each other as well as developing a sense of trust. Remember to continue doing these activities throughout the school year, not just the first few days. TEACHER'S NOTE: The book Tribes by Jeanne Gibbs is loaded with activities that promote these things in the classroom. 7) Teach to all learning styles beginning on day one. Remember that all students do not learn the same way. Give choices whenever possible. 8) Learn the students names quickly and use their names when talking to them.
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