Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What will you do the first five days of school?

"We can lose the value of a whole year if we do not get the first five days of school right." - Greg Whitby @gregwhitby Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta
What do you do during the first five days of school to ensure the year is off to a great start? That is what attendees of this year’s Building Learning Communities conference are sharing, discussing, and rethinking face to face and via the Values Exchange Community.

Alan November gets the conversation rolling on the First Five Days Theme Board with these nuggets:
Culture Questions for the First Five Days
Who should own the learning?
Who should work harder during class?
Who should contribute to the learning of the whole class?
What are the potential global relationships?
How can teachers learn as much as possible about their students during the first five days?
What PD can we provide to teachers to prepare them for the first five days of school?
-Alan November (conference organizer)

Digital Learning Farm
Alan November’s article about organizing students with real digital enabled jobs, such as tutorial designer that empowers all students to create content to contribute to the learning of the whole class. These jobs can be set up during the first five days of school as a basic to the empowered culture of
-Shared by David Seedhouse (Value Exchange community developer)

What do you plan to do during your first five days to ensure the year gets off to a great start?  Even if you’re not at BLC, you can register here to join the conversation at the First Five Days Theme Board.  


  1. Looking at “Alan's Nuggets” for the first five days of school, I think that getting kids to own their learning is one of the keys to creating a successful learning climate. A way to initiate this during the first five days is to create a question asking environment in your classroom. I have read a simple yet fantastic book that anyone involved with kids or adults for that matter should read entitled, Make Just One Change by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana. The authors give the readers a simple yet powerful tool that teaches kids to ask questions. It is a skill that our antiquated model of U.S. education does not foster. As education is exploding with new and innovative ways to engage students, this technique is a simple way to begin to empower kids and connect them to learning. The process known as the Question Formulation Technique or QFT creates a shift in teaching for educators. To get a better idea of the process and how it works, you can read an article in the Harvard Education Letter
    or read the book, Make Just One Change. This technique is a perfect tool to transform your first five days of school.

  2. I always reread "The First Days of School" by Harry Wong. I take that foundation and add my own spices. I've also heard good things about Gary Rubinstein's "Reluctant Disciplinarian" book about classroom discipline. I know from Rubinstein's blog that we are philosophically similar in areas that Harry Wong and I are not. Yes, Harry Wong really is his name.