Ideas for the First Days Getting Students’ Attention: Have a basket on hand containing various noise makers such as a train whistle, a birthday blowout, a hand-clapper, a plastic horn, a toy drum …anything that makes a funny noise. When students are getting too loud in the classroom and you want to get their attention…just choose a noise maker! Give Me Five: One way to get students’ attention is to “Give Me Five.” The teacher says, “Give Me Five” and holds up five fingers in the air. Students follow by holding up five fingers and stopping whatever they are doing. The five fingers stand for: stop, look, listen, hands free, and pay attention. These five words can even be repeated as part of the procedure. Hook-Up: Brain Gym Activity. Students sit or stand, cross their right ankle over their left ankle, stretch out both hands in front of them with palms facing each other, cross their right arm over top of their left arm, flip both hands down and clasp fingers together, bring clasped hands toward their body and rest under their chin, place their tongue on the roof of their mouth and remain in this position for 30 seconds up to a minute. This is a great relaxation activity. Learning About Families: On the first day or shortly thereafter, I have the children draw a picture of their family, but the rule is: only the people that live in their house. It's amazing to see how unsure some children are. It gives a lot of good information to the teacher. For younger children, they dictate the names and ages of family members, for older students, they can write them themselves. Happy Sack : Take an ordinary brown paper lunch sack and decorate it with smiley faces. Each day when someone sees an act of kindness or notices another classmate being nice, have them write it down on a slip of paper. Put the note into the "Happy Sack". On Friday, go through the Happy Sack and read all of the wonderful things going on in the classroom. A Circle of Friends We've joined together as classmates as the new year begins... A year full of learning while we become friends. We'll share and be kind as we work and play. And our friendship will grow with each passing day. Important Rules (Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle) Here are some rules for you and me, See how important they can be. Always be honest, be kind and fair, Always be good and willing to share. These are rules we all should know, We follow these rules wherever we go.