My eighth graders were awesome! But I already knew that, after all I taught them as seventh graders. My new seventh graders were well behaved. I am looking forward to getting to know them.
One new thing that I added this year was a Social Studies Handbook. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted it to be and rolled it out today. This handbook will grow and change as we progress through the year. I plan on adding anchor charts and rubrics as we do new things. My thinking is that everything will be kept in their binders. There will be no excuses, no "I didn't know," no "You never told me that."
The purpose of this handbook in the binder will be a reference. One that students can turn back to at any time to review important Social Studies information. One that I can have them turn to and review policies and procedures at any time. That is my plan.
So what is in it? Glad you asked! For starters, I have classroom expectations listed. There are three. Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Ready to Learn. Next I put a new twist on an old activity. I asked students to to create hashtags for each one. I provided some examples for them (though I am new to this whole hashtag phenomena) This is what I provided the students in their handbook:
Be Ready to Learn
So their hashtags were added to the chart in the Social Studies Handbook.
I also gave them the routine to get started in class, group expectations and some sentence stems for class discussions.
I am excited and hopeful about this new strategy. I hope it will be a useful tool for students too!