From time to time teachers will acquire new students during the year. It is an awkward situation for the new student and teachers must help the student feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom. How can you make the transition smooth for all your students? You might want to pair the new student with a student in the classroom that is welcoming, warm, and friendly. You can also have each student in the classroom introduce themselves and later play some Ice Breaker Games to help make the new student feel welcome and become familiar with the class.
You should also have a welcome packet prepared in advance. It is imperative that catechists be prepared and have all the necessary print outs readily available and stashed for quick retrieval at all times. This packet should include all the information/handouts you passed out during the first day of CCD.
Things to have handy:
1. Have anIntroduction Letter to Parents. It is a great idea to take the opportunity to introduce yourself by welcoming the students and the parents in a letter their first day of CCD. It provides the parents with information of what is expected in the classroom and what the students will be doing during the year. It can also inform parents of the expectations and rules of the class that will help in making the classroom productive, creative, and enjoyable year for all (this can be a separate page that parents must sign and return to you). Teachers can also ask if parents are interested in volunteering and for any information that can help aid them in better understanding their child and their needs.
2. ProvideVolunteer Sign Up Sheetsfor parents interested in helping at CCD.Volunteers in the classroom can be a blessing IF done correctly and IF it is planned ahead. Nothing is worse than having a volunteer not know what to do or be in the way. Here are tips that should be done to have a good volunteer program in your classroom.
3. Have the parents fill out aClass Contact List to obtain information that can help aid the catechist to understand their child’s needs and how to contact them.
4. Provide a calendar of the CCD schedule (days and times CCD meets), upcoming events, such as class field trips and future parent-teacher meetings, etc. and the policies concerning them.
5. Go over theclassroom rulesand requirements with the new student. It would be a great review for the whole class to be involved in this. You can make it into a game by asking the students various questions about the classroom. (You could also play these games the first day of class to review the classroom rules and requirements.)
Free PowerPoint Games- Make your own PowerPoint game (Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, Password, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Twenty Questions, Guess The Covered Word, variations of the game Hollywood Squares, Weakest Link, Concentration, etc.) to review classroom rules and requirements with your students.
educationworld.com- Reviving Reviews: Refreshing Ideas Students Can’t Resist/Review Games (adapt these games to fit your needs)
sporcle.com- Can you name the classroom rules? (adapt this game to fit your needs)
teachnet.com- “Who Wants To Be A Winner” game
Download these PowerPoint presentations for use in your classroom. These games can be modified with your own questions to create an interactive review for your students.
Also from teachnet.com- An alternative way to play the game above not using PowerPoint presentations.
Type the questions on a piece of paper. Cut the questions apart and put them in a small box. Divide the class into two teams. Each team gets three options, each of which can only be used once during the game. Write the three options on the board. When the team uses an option, it is erased. The options which the team can use are: Pass, Ask a Friend on their team or Ask the Whole Class.
To start the game, pick a number. The team which chooses the number closest starts first. The first player on the team chooses a question from the box without looking at the question. The player then reads the question and decides if s/he knows the answer. If the player does not know the answer, s/he may pick an option. If the child passes, the player whose turn it is next can have a chance at answering the question. If the pass option is used, it is then erased and cannot be used again by that team.
When all the options are used by a team, the players must try to answer their own question even if they don’t know it. When all the questions are gone, the game is over. The teams get one point for each question and the team with the most points win. Of course you must ask the player, “Is that your final answer?” The kids love this game!
Things to review:
• Basic classroom rules.
• Classroom attendance and tardiness guidelines. Make-up work policy.
• Classroom grading policy.
• Amount of homework and homework policy.
• Policy for addressing academic and behavioral problems.
• The CCD program’s discipline policy, including procedures regarding absence and tardiness.
• The timing of report cards and progress reports.
• Emergency procedures for bad weather and other events.
• How to contact the teacher.
*Be sure to ask the parents and new student if they have any questions that they may have.
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