Now that schools are back in session (weather permitting of course) I'm curious for ideas about what to do in that dreaded first week. I usually spend the first class going over the syllabus and class expectations. This usually ends being a somewhat wasted exercise since I have to answer questions throughout the semester while restraining myself from yelling "Read the Syllabus!" I then spend the remainder of the week discussing the the introductions to the main texts for the course. This has the benefit of clarifying some of the main themes and topics without delving into the actual content until week 2.
What I am grappling with is the infamous add/drop period. I don't want to cover too much material since some of them won't be back and new people will be in their place, but I don't want to waste the time of those students who are there either. Does anyone have suggestions for what you do in the first week of classes?