First Day/Week of Classes


Laurel Lunden (Healthcare Professions)

I told the students this was their classroom and asked them come up with a theme for the class. What they chose represented what they expected and wanted to feel during class. They wrote the following on a board(really paper) that will remain at the front of the class throughout the quarter (welcoming, positive energy, trust, understanding, care confidentiality and respect). One of the students wrote her comments in English and Arabic.

We discussed that if they feel any of these are lacking in our classroom during the quarter they can go to the board and point this out to the class and we will discuss this together.

They were excited about doing this and so far this has made a positive impact on the students and classroom atmosphere


During Opening Week 2016 the Art and Humanities Division faculty met and gave some of their tips/activities for the first week of classes. Here are some of their activities. (Go to Full List for all the activities presented at the meeting)

Wendy Swyt, English

Teach students professional email format and have them write one to the class (content about who they are and getting into class content).( Professional Email - Monica Lemoine).

Monica Lemoine, English

Divide students into groups and have them do information scavenger hunt (Get to Know Your College) about key resources on campus – see Monica for details, instruction examples.

Kim Trinh, English

Requires all students to visit her during office hours in the first week.

Ben Thomas, Music

He has them watch short videos by Steven Chew on student success and student misunderstanding about learning – they write 5 short papers on the videos and discuss in class – see Stephen Chew Assignment.

Glen Avantaggio, Philosophy

Has students take an end of week “readiness” quiz/checklist –FirstWeekChecklist.

Laura Soracco, English

Divide the board into four sections and has students discuss and post notes on characteristics/example of 1) best teachers 2) worst teachers 3) best students 4) worst students. She uses this to discuss the expectations that they have made explicit as a group.

Susan Rich, English / Film

Starts off activity by modeling three things about herself and invites connection to one of her three things – each student shares – by end of class students have built similarities.

Liz Word, Communications

Has them fill out notecard with name and pronunciation.
Also on card, they answer three questions:

  • Why are you taking this class?
  • What is your biggest fear about this class?
  • What do you want your instructor to know about you?

They share with a neighbor in the class – Liz collects these cards and uses them through random pulls to ask questions in class.

Laura Manning, Communications

Focuses on pronouncing names correctly – has students read article (link) by Jennifer Gonzalez about importance of names by Jennifer Gonzalez. Gets students to practice saying each other’s names.  Has students take turns taking roll throughout the quarter.  Every day has one student kick of class by sharing a short music video and talking about why it is important to them.

Shon Meckfessel, English

Students list three interesting things about themselves – they listen and later have to find something in common with others.

Gayatri Sirohi, English

Has students write down five good student habits they think are good success markers – then get in larger group and if ½ of the group doesn’t do that habit, they need to cross it out.  Makes them think about realistic strategies for success