As promised, I’m back today with a few lessons and activities to help you get through the first days of school.
First thing’s first – don’t forget to download and run off these Interactive Notebook Covers. I’ve included several different ELA titles you might use for your notebooks, but let me know if you need something else that isn’t included here.
And when it’s time to set up those interactive notebooks, you can refer back to this blog post from last August about how I had my students set up their notebooks.
Those aren’t the lessons, of course – I just wanted to remind you while we’re all here and in the mood! 🙂
Now.. When it comes to the first day of school, I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s VERY important to teach a real actual LESSON that day. Teaching something purposeful and important and academic is so important that first day because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. It tells your students that they are here to learn and in your class they are going to be productive and not waste time. It also will give them a nice glimpse into how you teach and the kinds of things they’ll be learning this year and that’s WAY better than just TELLING them what you teach and the kinds of things they’ll be learning this year, right?!
I’m giving you two options below, depending on your needs and the time you’ve got on that first day. If you’re looking for a full-blown lesson with-story-and-all, I’ve got you covered. And, if you’re looking for a 20-minute-quickie, I’ve got ya covered in that department as well!
The 20-Minute Quickie
The best part of this quickie is that there’s enough substance here so that you can make it last longer if you want or definitely carry it over to the next day’s lesson. I chose a topic that is important and can easily be explained/reviewed in just a few short minutes: Denotation vs. Connotation.
Start by showing this AWESOME Flocabulary video on Word Choice. If you don’t have a Flocabulary subscription, I promise it’s worth the 45 seconds it takes to sign up for a 14-day free trial, even if you only ever use it for this lesson.
And just to get your 45 seconds worth, be sure to download the Activity, Quiz, and Answer Keys in the sidebar on the right because they are EXCELLENT!
Of course you know I have an interactive notebook activity for this topic that can be done the first day or later. I like to do it on the first day even though our interactive notebooks aren’t set up yet (see link near top of page). All you have to do is have students use a regular sheet of looseleaf paper. Cut off the gutters at the top of the page before the lines start AND on the left side of the red line, cutting the holes off. Now, your students can glue their interactive notebook activity on this sheet of loose leaf paper and you can come back and glue it as your first “real” page in the interactive notebook when you set it up!
The beauty of this is that you can just have students do the 2 definition tabs for today and come back and do the connotation tickets later if this is a quickie. Now they’ve defined the words and learned a little bit about word choice and connotation and denotation.