Going back to school is so exciting but can be overwhelming! Teaching foods, Family and Consumer Science, and Culinary Arts is up there in terms of preparation but the impact you make on your students is amazing!
“They may forget what you said but they will not forget how you made them feel.” – Carl Buechner
These 4 ways to prepare for your classes will help make the transition from summer to fall easier and help to create positive relationships with your students starting on day one.
1. Over Plan. Having more plans than you need for the first day is key. Some classes go by really quickly and the kids just get it. You don’t want to be stuck staring at the clock wishing it would go faster. Have an extra activity or 2 as back up. If you don’t get to them, you can use them the next day or as a sub plan! We have a free scope and sequence that we use for our culinary arts courses.
2. Have an opener or bellringer to start. I love these bell ringers because:
It helps to break the ice a bit. I like to get to know my students as quickly as possible because it helps build a classroom community and helps with classroom management.
It’s a great way to prepare for an observation. Students will be trained and your anticipatory set or opener is already built into your plans!
It gets kids starting class thinking about the material you are teaching. Great discussions can also start because of the questions from the bell ringers.
We use these:
3. Gather Information. Have students complete an online or paper questionnaire about their interests, their prior knowledge of the content and their contact information. You are showing that you are interested in them and you are able to look through these papers over the next few weeks to help with getting to know your students. It is also a nice way to use up some class time on the first day when you may be feeling a bit nervous and overwhelmed.
Decorating your classroom is also an important way to feel prepared for the classroom. We like to use these cooking vocabulary posters for our classroom decor because they have real images and are a good reminder of important terms! The first 5 cooking terms posters are free in our TPT store.
This website has free downloadable posters on kitchen safety that can be a great way to provide visuals for your students. I like these because they are also in Spanish for the ELLs in your class.
🌟 Here is another free set of posters with kitchen reminders for your students!
Posters are a great way to make your classroom feel “homey”. I also love to use student work to decorate the classroom.
4- Write Plans– One other thing that helps me feel so much more prepared is to write out a loose lesson plan for the first couple of weeks. I am a pencil and paper type of person so I usually buy a lesson plan booklet from Amazon. I keep notes in the margin about how the lesson went and what I should change the next year. These I carry with me year after year and check what I did. I also use Google Docs to keep track of my scope and sequence.