Beginning of the School Year Ideas

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:29 pm

Beginning of the School Year Ideas

Post by melissasw » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:50 pm

What Kagan structures are you doing the first few weeks of schools to get your students acquainted and establishling classroom expectations?

A couple ideas that I always did to kick off the year and give my students some ownership and feel apart of our classroom community.
I had them create a playlist of music for me using RoundTable to use when they entered and left my classroom as well as for structures like Mix Pair Share or Mix Freeze Group, and to start and stop Silly Sports and Goofy Games.

I also used Jot Thoughts for them to brainstorm classroom expectations. With these we created our class mission statement and class vision statement.

After a week or two of random teams I put them into their first mixed ability teams and did Jot Thoughts to brainstorm qualities of a Good Student, based on our PBS expectations - Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be a Learner, Be Safe. We then did our first team project, Quality Student. I spun the spinner and that was the student whose body was traced on each team. Then each team had a basket of parts that were equally divided amongst the teammates. Each teammate created those 2 parts and added them to the body. Finally, they divided the jot thoughts equally and each student had to create a way to represent that quality on their quality student; so they might create a planner and pencil and glue it to the student's hand to represent being responsible-coming prepared, they might draw an arrow from the feet and label it - use walking feet. These were hung on our back wall. The kids really enjoyed this because the quality student represented all of them and they owned the expectations, rather than me telling them what the rules/expectations were going to be.