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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 4 Number 3

Happy 7th Anniversary Teachers.Net...
A First Day of School Script Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Using A Discipline Approach to Promote Learning Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
My Poor Teacher Can't Spell! 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Testing, 1-2-3! Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
March ~ The Perfect Time for a Fresh Start! Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Need Something? Ask! Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
There's a Book Inside of You Waiting To Come Out! eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Stop Underage Drinking Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Debates in the Classroom---A List of Ten! The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Saving Drowning Babies is Not Always the Best Policy! Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
Art Sites The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
March Articles
March Regular Features
March Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Harry and Rosemary Wong...
Harry and Rosemary Wong are teachers. Harry is a native of San Francisco and taught middle school and high school science. Rosemary is a native of New Orleans and taught K-8, including working as the school media coordinator and student activity director.

Harry Wong has been awarded the Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award, the Science Teacher Achievement Recognition Award, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, and the Valley Forge Teacher's Medal. Rosemary was chosen as one of California's first mentor teachers and has been awarded the Silicon Valley Distinguished Woman of the Year Award.

Harry Wong is the most sought after speaker in education today. He has been called "Mr. Practicality" for his common sense, user-friendly, no-cost approach to managing a classroom for high-level student success.

More than a half-million teachers worldwide have heard his message. Because he is fully booked for two years, he has agreed to and has invited his wife to join him in doing a monthly column for Teachers.Net so that more people can hear their message.

About Their Work... The Wongs have formed their own publishing company, of which Rosemary is the CEO. The Wongs are dedicated to bringing quality and dignity to the materials they produce for teachers and to leaving a legacy in education by making a difference in the lives of teachers and students.

The Wongs have written The First Days of School, the best-selling book ever in education. Over 1.9 million copies of have been sold. They have also produced the video series The Effective Teacher, winner of the Telly Award for being the best educational staff development video of the past twenty years and the 1st place gold award in the International Film and Video Festival.

They have released a new set of CDs, How To Improve Student Achievement, featuring Harry Wong as he speaks at one of his many presentations. He is the most sought after speaker in education and his presentations are legendary.

When the book, video series, and CD are used together, they form the most effective staff training tool for developing effective teachers. Staff developers and administrators who would like to know how to implement the aforementioned book, video series, and CD are encouraged to consult the book, New Teacher Induction: How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers. Information about these products can be found by visiting the publisher's website at or

Effective Teaching...
by Harry and Rosemary Wong

A First Day of School Script

Effective teachers have a plan for every day of the year and especially one for the first day of school to start everything correctly. There is nothing that will take students into orbit faster than to suspect that a teacher is not organized. Model disorganization and the students will replicate this behavior and the classroom is soon in chaos.

In our June 2000 column (, we featured the first day of school script of Melissa Pantoja, who was a brand new teacher about to begin the first day of her professional career. She had a very successful first year as a teacher and one of the reasons was her classroom management skill of being organized with a script for the first day of school.

It is now four years later and Melissa is so effective as a teacher that she can leave directions for her substitute teacher and indicate the procedures that govern the effective operation of her classroom. People have recognized her effectiveness: 1) she serves on the school's improvement committee, 2) she is chairperson of the fine arts festival, and 3) an administrator has recommended that she work on her administrator's degree.

Daily Class Routine
Substitute Teacher's Copy

Here is a list of routines to help you pace each of the classes from start to finish. I have tried to include the routine my students are familiar with.

Melissa Pantoja

  1. Wait at door for each class of students to arrive
    1. wooden door stopper will help to hold the door open

  2. Ask students to quietly find their assigned seats at the tables
  3. Explain the lesson for the day
    1. lesson may be something we've been working on, or
    2. a lesson prepared for the Substitute {Substitute Lessons for the Day}

  4. Call out list of supplies needed for the project
  5. Choose a quiet student from each table to be "Table Leader" and gather the supplies needed for this class period
    1. the "table leaders" can help pass out the papers, get supplies/materials ready and at end of class -- put away
    2. I use a chart to record who has been table leader -- they may ask about it -- you won't need to worry about this

  6. If the class has already started the project their papers will be on the designated shelf (North side of room)
  7. Remind the students of the 5 numbers at the front of the room
    1. the numbers are incentives for working quietly
    2. if it gets too loud, or the students aren't giving you full attention -- ring the timer (on ledge of white board) and take down the 5, and then continue pulling numbers as needed for warning the class
    3. you can record how many numbers they kept at end of class
    4. I use these numbers to allow the class to earn a POPCORN party

  8. Taking care of the supplies: as the class works they may need to be reminded of taking care of the supplies - especially with paints, brushes and supplies that can be used over and over again.
  9. Clean-up -- depending on how messy it gets -- you may need to allow 5-10 min. for clean-up before they leave
    1. let the students know that you are looking for tables who are cleaned the fastest and the best -- this usually gets them moving!
    2. table leaders can help to pick-up supplies and make sure they are put back where they belong or on the counter (some things may need to air dry)
    3. you'll want to have the kids clean-up as much as possible -- this will make it a lot easier on you at the end of the day
    4. I will usually clean brushes and things that need a little extra attention

  10. Look for tables that all students are sitting quietly
    1. you may call these tables to line up - one table at a time (the numbers are hanging above each table)

  11. I have students sit on floor, parallel to computer table, as they wait
    1. this helps me not to step on or over them as I open the door and wait for their teacher

Now that you're familiar with this
Daily Routine -- Have fun!

The day has just begun!


A Middle and High School
First Day Script

In June 2002, we featured Sasha Michaels, a middle school teacher, and her first day of school script ( Sasha was the teacher who the assistant principal did not think would last a week. Without any administrative support, she lasted the year.

Effective teachers are able to see a concept or an example, and then implement a strategy, technique, or activity for their own classrooms. Regrettably, ineffective teachers will whine that things don't apply to them, unless they are shown something specific to their grade level or subject area. Sasha was able to take the script of Melissa Pantoja and apply it to her classroom.

Likewise, John Schmidt, a high school teacher, was able to look at Melissa Pantoja's script, understand the concept, and create a script for his own high school classroom. Granted, he had help because his school, the Homewood-Flossmoor High School District of Flossmoor, Illinois, has a three-year new teacher induction program with expert help in training and supporting new teachers to bring out the best in them. John Schmidt became so successful that the Homewood-Flossmoor Induction program used him as one of their demonstration teachers in his second year as a teacher. What a role model!

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