At the beginning of the year, we spend tons of energy making sure our students feel comfortable every aspect of the program. We make sure they know how to rotate, find books at their level, navigate the software... the list goes on and on.
With all this time well spent, it can be jarring when we get a new student after all our introduction activities have already happened. The new students have missed so much! How can we possibly hope to cover all that they weren't here for?
The simple answer is: you can't. There's no practical way (at least I can't think of any) to supplement weeks of community building and hours spent covering every nuance of the program. Yet, that doesn't mean we should just let a student wander in and figure things out as they go.
Here are few things you may want to consider when that new kid gets started.
When you find out they are joining your class...
Take the time to go introduce yourself and explain that they will be starting READ 180 soon. Briefly discuss why they were selected, what READ 180 is for, and how excited you will be to have them. It can take away a lot of first-day anxiety!
During the first Whole-Group...
Take a few minutes to have the students explain what READ 180 is, how the rotations work, and why the program is helpful. It's a great review for your "experienced" students and a nice introduction for your new one.
If you are in the middle of a Workshop... (I usually do all of these while they are in the reading group... it usually only takes a day or two)
Make sure they watch the anchor video.
Have them partner-read any stories they've missed.
Have them copy the definitions and examples for any of the Target Words they've missed.
If they've missed a lot of the workshop, consider doing one of the differentiation lessons to cover the comprehension skill they've missed.... that way they won't be at a huge disadvantage when they go to take the rSkills test.
For the Independent Reading group...
Have a partner give them a tour of the library, showing them how to pick out books, where to get worksheets, when to stop for questions, etc.
Have them start with an "easy" paperback book or an audio book.
For the software...
Find a time to meet with them one on one and go over the purpose and set up of each zone (I usually sit with them as they go through each zone the first time... it may be easier to do during a prep or another off time, rather than trying to do it with all the other kids in the room).