Imagine it is the first day of school and you are welcoming a whole new set of students to class. Create your own welcoming activity for the first day of school that demonstrates how you will incorporate differentiation through a growth mindset. Please help in addressing the following:
- How you will provide a safe and secure classroom climate
- How you will provide a positive learning environment
- How you will meet the social and emotional needs of your students
- How you will foster a sense of student ownership
- How you will create empathy with your students
- How you will provide students opportunities to succeed
- How you will eliminate student fear of failure and humiliation
The tone of the environment is really important and even subtle things like how we talk and role modeling is critical. Rarely or never are statements or directives given in a negative tone useful. For example, rather than saying, "I never forget my homework," the teacher or classroom rules will use as a mantra, "I come prepared to do my best" or "I keep my belongings in the proper place." The old-school mindset of writing sentences and using statements like, "I will never hit Bobby" or "I will obey the teacher," fails to have the same effectiveness.
There would be benefit in having a range of activities first day of school, keeping in mind it is possible not all students know each other. Starting the day with a group activity and then allowing students to circulate in small hands-on groups would allow the teacher to evaluate how the students work, observe learning styles and skill levels. Activities noted would be well-suited for middle elementary-age students.
One activity, upon entry, is for each student to select a birthday bubble and ...
First day of school activities incorporating differentiation for a safe and positive learning environment.