General Strategies and First Days

Those first few days . . . . .

Day 1: Student Survey and . . .

I read a suggestion to sit students in first name alphabetical order to help in memorizing names. I’m thinking I’ll use that as an icebreaker activity for day one. Seat yourselves in alphabetical order by first name. Class that does it the fastest on the first day gets a prize. I’m thinking headphone Fridays for a month will be the prize. Time is very short on the first day usually but they are changing the registration process this year so I may have more time with them than last year. Once they are sat I’ll probably ask them what physics is and why we study it. Usually a few students know why. . . . if not I have a short video: What is physics?

If time allows, I made a survey for the students: Student Survey (Docx)Student Survey (PDF). We usually only have them for a few fleeting moments the first day. I’m debating offering a BYOD version of the survey. Get them logged into my google classroom site and filling out a google form on day one. Perhaps the wifi will work day one and perhaps it won’t. Maybe I’ll add one of those QR Codes that will take them straight to my google classroom. I’ll give them 10 min to answer the questionnaire and extend time if needed. While they are filling out the questionnaire I’ll hand out the syllabus and work on student names.

If we have time, I’ll present my answers to the questionnaire. I tried to retrieve my prezi that was my mini-autobiography in pics and memes but sadly my account no longer existed. . . . guess I was idle for too long. So I’m adding that to the looooong to do list for the last week before school starts.

The last 5 minutes of class will be the exit ticket: List 3 ways you could work with other students in class to help you each be successful in class. (I’m going to make it available as a google form and post it notes)

Day 2: Modeling Expectations and Lab Safety

We will do a warm up: List two things you do to be successful in class. List two things you expect your classmates to do to allow everyone to be successful in class. Love those warm ups! I’m hoping I can just make them available through my google classroom and we can cut the paper monster down a bit. I want to use the answers to develop a list of what kind of behavior leads to success in class and then list those under umbrella expectation terms. I am working from ideas in these two posts: and More detail to come later.

I also want to build expectations for working in cooperative groups. So after developing classroom expectations, I’d like to develop cooperative group roles and expectations. I found a great resource here:

More detail later!


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