Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Starting the School Day Right

    I recently started teaching in a new school. I can only send praise to my predecessor. She was brilliant. Since I began my new assignment in an established classroom, I decided to not make any major changes until August when the new school year begins.  The kids in this classroom already had a routine and a certain way of doing things. Instead of changing what they knew, I decided to change my ways to adapt to them. 
   One of the most outstanding things my predecessor did was to start the students academic day with daily classroom news. First thing every morning after breakfast, my students begin by reading our classroom newspaper. The newspaper highlights what we are learning in school, upcoming events in school, real world news, what's for lunch and more. The newspaper doubles as a point card on the back to track the students behavior. The students bring their newspaper home every night so it is also an easy way to communicate with parents. There is a place for comments on the point card side so if a student does something really well, or something s/he shouldn't have done this can be written on the back side of the newspaper too.
   Now this is where the true genius of the newspaper comes in: There is a joke in it everyday that the students must solve! There is a weekly joke person who's job is to find the daily joke for the newspaper. So now the teacher is linking reading, current events, challenges of the mind...and wait...there is more! The newspaper also has a wordsearch built in! Each day the students are asked to find five words present in the articles of the newspaper! This gives the students more reading power and vocabulary! What more can a teacher ask for than to have a meaningful activity every day to ease the students into their day of learning! So kudos to the teacher before me in this classroom who found a stress free  way of starting the school day right! I sincerely praise your efforts.

A Newspaper sample:

P.S. The names in the sample have been changed for anonymity.