June 26, 2017

#Syllabus Day

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I don't know about you but I absolutely HATE syllabus day. It has to be the most boring thing to go over the syllabus. I used to just stand up and talk all period explaining all the rules, procedures, blah, blah, blah. I get bored thinking about it and I know my students do too! I have also tried giving my students questions to go along with the syllabus that they get a grade for, which did work better than me talking the whole time. However, this year I am doing something different. I want the syllabus day to be more interactive and fun. Plus I actually want them to remember what the syllabus says about classroom procedures.




Here is what I plan to do this year! Feel free to use this idea! It is super low-tech and easy enough that any level middle or high school student should be able to do this with minimal teacher involvement.



Supplies needed: 

---Butcher paper cut into sections depending on how many sections of your syllabus you have.
---Copies of your syllabus in sections.
---Markers


Directions: 

Step 1
Before students enter the room, put butcher paper up around the room with different headings based off the different sections of your syllabus. For example: Leaving the Classroom, Make-up Work, etc. Put your syllabus into sections and post 1-2 copies with each piece of butcher paper. You can either tape them to the wall or put them in a folder placed near the paper. 


Step 2
Put students into small groups. I usually try to limit it to no more than 2-3 students in a group but this depends of course on class size and how many sections of your syllabus you have.


Step 3
Assign each group to a piece of butcher paper/section of your syllabus. For example, one group may have the section about Make-up Work whereas another group may have the section about Leaving the Classroom.


Step 4
In groups, the students will read their section of the syllabus. Each group will create 2 hashtags to simplify/summarize this section of the syllabus. They should write these on the butcher paper.  


For example, here is my Leaving the Classroom section of my syllabus:

Students will not be allowed to leave class unless it is an emergency. Students will be given a Panther Pass, which will allow them to leave 3 times during the course of the semester. These uses must be either at the beginning or end of class, not in the middle of instruction. Plan accordingly. Use these passes wisely because when they are gone, you will not be allowed to leave the room for any reason. These passes have a 5 minute time limit unless the student has a legitimate reason for being out of class for more than 5 minutes. These passes are assigned to specific students and students cannot use someone else’s pass. This will not be allowed. Also, if passes are lost, they will not be reissued. So be sure you hang onto yours! Put it in a safe place!

For this section, might do: #3timesurout, #5m2dourbiz, or #betterkeepyourpassclose


Step 5
Give the students approximately 3 minutes for step 3 and then have them move to another section of the syllabus doing the same thing creating 2 hashtags for each section. Do this until each group has been able to go through each of the sections of the syllabus. Make sure you tell the students ahead of time that they aren't allowed to duplicate hashtags so they should get creative! 


Step 6 
Have students go back to their original group paper and give them 3-5 minutes to pick out the top 3 hashtags they will share with the class about that section of the syllabus giving a brief explanation as to why they picked them. 


Step 7
Take the hashtags that students created & put them on colored paper and post them around the room. This is a great way to remind students of the basic rules and procedures they will need for your classroom but doesn't require a large poster or lots of time creating something.  




Let me know what you think about this lesson idea! Any ideas on ways to improve on it? Have you ever done something fun to teach your syllabus? I would love to hear about it!


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