Friday, July 21, 2017

1st 5 Days

I decided to add a new 1st 5 Days post since it has changed so much over the last two years.

Several years ago I heard Alan November share on the importance of "The First Five Days" and how we need to build a culture the first week. Share and discuss what is possible instead of telling them what they can't do. 

I have used "The First Five Days" philosophy every year since then. Here is an updated version of how my first week of science looks in 7th grade. 

Day 1: Welcome
We rotate through 8 interactive stations that help plan the year and reflect on the previous one. Here is the link to the folder that contains directions for each table. 

Day 2: There is no “I” in team
Time for a team challenge! This year we are going to see how quickly they can work as a team to problem solve. Each group will be given a Sphero and will take one of the challenges listed HERE. (Ideas from Sphero) They will have a photographer that will document their Sphero journey using Clips to share their story of struggle.

Few of my students have any prior experience using these devices. Our focus is on trial and error and celebrating failed attempts. 

Day 3/4 - Purpose
On day 3, I bring out the poster from the first day station on world problems. The poster is typically covered in words like equality, poverty, malnutrition, pollution, etc. As a class we look at the UN Goals for a Sustainable Development and make connections. Students determine which goal they feel most passionate about and dig a little deeper. Next we divide up by goal and they pick a partner who thinks similarly. 

With their partner they design an invention that could address that problem. They sketch it out in Paper53 or a drawing app and then develop a 45-60 second pitch speech about their invention. They record the pitch in Flipgrid to share with our global classroom partners. 

This gives us the opportunity to discuss digital citizenship and online etiquette. Students will reply to other students in the grid with questions and follow up ideas.  (You can join us on Flipgrid and have your class participate too.)

We will come back to these ideas in a another week or so as we begin to plan our year and determine our plan to make a positive impact on our community and environment.

Day 5 - Critical Thinking
Students first are given a square piece of paper and they have to define creativity using only one word (thanks to the idea by The Tech Rabbi!) We will discuss perspective and opinions and how everyone thinks differently.  I will use these to papers make a mosaic on the wall.

Next, we play a game of Hero or Villain (this idea is from Sunny Richardson).  We discuss a few scientists that created something or developed an idea that ended up not being such a great thing for the planet.  

Students then choose a controversial scientist and dig deeper.  We talk about credible searches and that not everything we read is true. Each group shares out and we debate if they would be considered a hero or a villain or neither. Students then "Tweet Like a Scientist" into a Today's Meet to share with the other classes.

We also discuss qualities and characteristics of a good scientist and connect that to being good classmates, lab partners, and citizens.  

Finally, students discuss a time they epically failed at something and what they learned from their failure. This will be added to our FlipGrid conversation next week.

This folder will contain all the resources for my #1st5Days as I create them over the next few weeks.


  1. Love this! Getting ready for the year!

  2. Thank you!!! This awesome and a big help!!!