My back-to-school feelings of Utopia are tempered with the need to cram as much information about, well - everything into them, as soon as possible, so we can get on with the business of learning and having fun. (Yes, learning and having fun are a perfect pairing, like ice-cream and cones.)
We all know those first few days set the tone for the entire year. Establishing classroom procedures, delivering expectations that may or may not become rules, and instilling that all-important self-actualization that, yes, they can do this, involves a lot of talking.
Because of this information dump, I tended lose my voice at the start of every. single. year. Breaking the habit of talking my 6th graders into a voice-induced stupor has always been difficult, and I was certain there had to be a better way.
What if some of that information came from them? After all, this is not their first rodeo. They know there needs to be some organization for things to run smoothly. They mostly know they are in charge of their experience. They kinda remember studying helps and they might have an idea or two about what works for them.
To alleviate some of these conundrums, my friend, Darlene Anne and I wrote Escape the Back-to-School Doldrums. This fun escape is a great way to begin a new year.
Imagine your class walking in and discovering their most awesome teacher in the whole wide world has already lined up a field trip on a very large sailing vessel, leaving immediately. Everything moves along swimmingly, until the ship comes to a screeching halt.
And that's where the fun begins!
Using critical thinking, problem-solving, and reading comprehension, kids will complete a series of challenges on Growth Mindset, Study Skills and Classroom Expectations. There's even a fun little ditty thrown in, just to keep it interesting. Each completed challenge brings them closer to finding exactly what they need to escape.
Not only is this a great opportunity for the teacher to observe how your new class works together, it allows the kids a chance to refresh and remember what it means to be a responsible, successful student!
As for me... let's just say my vocal chords will happily survive to talk another day. Hope you all have a tremendous school year!
"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela