Summer School

Summer Studies

I’ve been reading a couple of different books this summer to learn more about classroom management. The book I started with is The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong. Their secret to classroom management is setting up positive expectations and procedures before moving on to lesson mastery. They also recommend having a script prepared for your very first day of school. This book is why I’ve focused on and frequently mentioned procedures. The second book I’ve been learning from is Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. This book has come from studying “the naturals” and giving specific advice on how to manage a classroom. You have to “mean business” and ease your workload with “say, see, do teaching.” This is where my focus on consequences and follow through has come from. The following is a compilation of the various methods and a rough draft of my “First Day of Camp” script.

First Day of Camp Script

  • Welcome! We are so glad you could come build Legos with us. There is an exciting week planned, and I know that each of you will do great!
  • Sales Pitch. Camps all summer, after-school classes (Kyrene, Chandler, Higley, Scottsdale), birthday parties.
  • RULES & Consequences.
    • Respect (be careful, hands to ourselves)
    • Use good manners (please and thank-you)
    • Listen and follow directions (from the teachers, not a bossy camper)
    • Everyone cleans (even if you didn’t play there)
    • Stay in sight of teacher (we need to know where you are)
    • The consequences are simple: if you do not follow the rules, you do not participate. We want you to participate in everything we have planned for you so let’s not have to worry about it!
  • Build procedures
    • If you need help, ask your partner first. If you both need help, raise your hand (see, I’ll raise my hand)— we will come around to you. If you are missing a part, put a hand on your head (see, again, I’ll put my hand on my head). (Do: Show me what do you do first if you need help. Show me how you ask for help from the teacher. Show me how you ask for a part.)
    • Both partners need to be finished with the steps before you may turn the page. (Say this while passing out instructions).
    • When you’ve gotten your kit and instructions, you may begin. Today, we will start together. (Say this while passing out kits).
    • Okay, everyone open up to the first page (<-say, I do what I say, and continue to model and explain). Start with the lowest number. Pull out the pieces first (students do), then study the picture to do the build. The colors don’t match the pieces in your kit, but they do match each other from parts to picture (usually). Look carefully and count your spaces.
    • When you are finished, you can add to or modify your build. Change the gears to see if you can make it go faster. Can you make it more stable? Can you make it look cooler?
    • Okay, it is time to clean up! Go back to your original station (students do). Check the floor around you for pieces that might have fallen (students do). Let’s look at the chart on the box so we can put things away correctly. (Model and have students start breaking down their builds). Have it checked by a teacher.
  • Snack/outside procedures <- discuss these after the builds are finished.
    • Wash hands before eating.
    • Respect property and others. Clean up your trash, leave the plants alone. Remember to be careful when playing so that no one is hurt.
    • Eat before playing.


What do you think of my script? If you’re a teacher, do you do anything like this on your first day of school? Have you read either of the books I mentioned? If so, what are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think!



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