Course Description

The decisions teachers make during the critical first weeks of school set the tone for the entire year.  Through the reading of and interacting with The First Six Weeks of School by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete you will learn to establish a safe environment where students can take risks and learn how to handle routines and expectations throughout the day.  Your students will demonstrate increased self-discipline and be more engaged in active learning.  In this distance class you will work through the book and assignments at your own pace. Grades K-5.

Learner Outcomes

Participants will learn:

  • How to make their best teaching possible by building a solid foundation for their school year in a slow and focused way. 
  • Fresh and effective ways to guide students through exploring their school environment and establishing meaningful classroom rules and routines. 
  • New ways to build a strong classroom community and encourage increased learning engagement through academic choice. 


Bachelor's Degree or Instructor permission


“For the last assignment you've asked that we write a reflection about this course and things that we will implement into our classroom because of it. First I would like to say that I have taken many online classes. My entire graduate program through George Fox University was online. I took some good classes, but was frustrated that a lot of them weren't focused on becoming a better educator. This online class has been amazing! It wasn't terribly difficult and all of the time that I put into it was useful, focused on helping me become a better educator, and 100% applicable to improving my classroom which I am grateful for. I am looking forward to continuing to taking more classes through TINT.”

---Summer 2017 Student

“First Six Weeks This has been a very helpful and insightful course as it has brought on a deeper level of thought in which I will be approaching the upcoming year. After teaching for many years, I found it refreshing and supporting to hear other educators were also looking for ways to improve beginning their year. I’m excited and energized to begin building my classroom in the fall-one that is based on a solid foundation of management and clear expectations. I especially am excited to push my class to begin thinking about how they will take responsibility for their own learning and success. My “Classroom Mission Statement” created by the kids will reflect all of the pieces of The First Six Weeks of School! Thank you for putting together an extremely helpful and informative class!”

---Summer 2015 Student

"I have learned many detailed approaches in this class, but two key themes emerge. The biggest is to “go slow” during the first six weeks in order to be able to “go fast” as the year progresses. I often do a good job the first few days but am so anxious to get into routines that I push a bit harder than I should and am not as thorough with material introduction, addressing every detail of routines, and so forth. Seeing the flow of the day and the schedules develop (with often only-subtle changes) through the chapters in this book helps me know exactly how to slow down, and to feel good about it! The second big theme is teaching and addressing social skills and issues. This is another proactive, ongoing pattern that needs to be in place to help form and maintain community. Thanks for all of your quick and thorough responses, Ashley. I have enjoyed this class - a really accessible, practical book, and assignments that allow me to personalize the content in a meaningful way!”

---Summer 2015 Student

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Building a Strong Foundation: The First Six Weeks of School
Start Now, you have 365 days to complete this course once enrolled.
Delivery Options
Distance Learning  
Course Fee(s)
Tuition credit (3 units) $690.00
Available for Credit
3 Quarter Credits
Reading List / Textbook

The First Six Weeks of School by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete

Section Notes

This course is offered in collaboration with The Innovative Northwest Teacher (TINT)

Course is self-paced. Completion time: up to one year from date of enrollment.

Refund Policy: Withdrawals submitted online through SPU within 7 days of enrollment will receive a 95% refund. Withdrawals received after that point will not receive a refund and no withdrawals will be accepted after the completion deadline for the course. Instructions on how to withdraw are located on our website under Students/Withdrawal and Refund Policies.


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