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 your impact on your students is incredible!
“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 critical. Some classes go by quickly, and the kids 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 a backup. 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 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, prior knowledge of the content, and contact information. You are showing interest in them and can look through these papers over the next few weeks to help get to know your students. It is also an excellent way to use some class time on the first day when you may feel nervous and overwhelmed.
4- Get to Know You Bingo– Print out this free, fun activity to help your students get to know each other and for you to get to know them! Students move around the room, asking their classmates if they fit any of the criteria on the bingo board. The person to complete the entire bingo board first wins. We have a paid version that includes multiple versions of the BINGO board and an editable template.
Decorating your classroom is also a meaningful way to feel prepared for the classroom. We like to use these cooking vocabulary posters for our classroom decor because they have authentic images and are a good reminder of essential 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!
4- Write Plans– One other thing that helps me feel much more prepared is writing a loose lesson plan for the first couple of weeks. I am a pencil-and-paper 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 following year. 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.