First Day of School


University High, Irvine, Ca - Entrance.jpg

Whew – I’m pooped! Today was the first day of school with students. We added a 0 period to our periods 1-6 day, as well as a Friday Homeroom period (today they met for just 10 minutes), so we are all getting accustomed to a new time for snack and TWO periods after lunch instead of just one. Plus our new solar panels atop half our parking spots are creating havoc with old familiar traffic pattern. Add to that an entirely revamped computerized attendance and grade book system and it makes for much potential for chaos.

But we managed! Personally I’m highly pleased with the look and early chemistry of my classes. I have a sense of which chatty friends might have to be urged to pick seats NOT next to each other, but mostly everyone was good-natured, albeit cautious about this new year.

In lieu of handing out a two-page Course Expectations sheet and droning on about what they can read on their own time, I posted details for them to view at their leisure and just hit the highlights. To encourage them to listen and doodle, I shared some of my Sketchnotes and delighted at how their eyes lit up at the prospect of drawing in class on purpose. It makes sense – if students already receive PowerPoints and other handouts from which they can review details, why not let them engage in note taking in a more creative and engaging way? One of my classes has a high percentage of Special Ed students (along with a SPED teacher and aide!) and I know many of them would benefit from different styles of content delivery and note taking.

In addition, instead of collecting hard copies of their First Day Survey and Letter (one way I get to know them early), I’m having them submit this assignment online so I can carry around 5 classes of student writing on my trusty iPad, Hera. Win!

Anyway, Day 1 done, Days 2-181 to go! I’ll keep you posted….


University High, Irvine, Ca – Entrance” by Kevin Zollman —Kzollman 00:27, 4 December 2006 (UTC) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.



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