First, you should expect your student to be simultaneously excited and exhausted. We hit the ground running as soon as we are settled in to our classrooms. While there is a lot of procedural things on the first day, we will also begin our first writing assignment, which will serve as my baseline. Students will receive their syllabus and review it as a class. They should be able to explain to you my homework policy, absence policies, academic integrity policies, and behavior policies. We will briefly review the course of study, but students will be able to explain what they will need to know by the end of our first units.
All students will have a few minutes in their math class tomorrow. During that time they will receive their math book and learn how to set up their math notebook for a successful year. They will not have regular math homework the first day, but do need to cover their math book. While you can use store bought book covers, I highly recommend the old fashioned brown bag technique. 8th graders are perfectly capable of doing this on their own if you provide a brown paper bag for them! If they need a little guidance, here's how to cover your books! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IevGAai8CrE
Their final homework assignment for day 1 will be to have a family discussion about what contact information you are comfortable with them sharing. On Thursday we will be going to the computer lab to create business cards. These cards will be used in our classroom to share contact information so students can contact each other for homework help.