|Name (Optional)||Twitter (Optional)||Blog Address (Optional)||How Do You Make Connections With Kids On The First Days Of School?||Timestamp|
|Christine||@jhox1||I take my 3rd graders to the computer lab to make a word web "All About Me" using Kidspiration.|
|Barbara McLaughlin||@barbaram||Have them fill out a Google survey! Seriously, they can put in their locker numbers, birthdays, contact numbers, hopes for the year, and you won't have to collect all those slips of paper, the bane of every homeroom teacher's first week.|
|Elizabeth Durkin||LizDk||Icebreaker games.|
Students write about themselves: their learning styles, what has worked best for them in the past, the characteristics of a class/teacher that was particularly successful for them, their language background (I work in an international school) plus some personal stuff - hobbies etc.
|Miss Natherson||lilmarbar||http://missnatherson.wordpress.com/||On the first day of school, I let my students pick their seats in table groups. By letting them pick, I can already begin to learn about the relationships in my new group of students. Then, I give each table group a small puzzle to put together. I tell them that they have as much time as they need to complete their puzzle, and that I want them to work together. As they are working, I can observe and start to make mental notes about who might be a natural leader, who is shy or timid, who is a problem solver, etc. There's a twist though... before class, I take one puzzle piece from each table and put it at another table. The students get their whole puzzle put together except one missing piece, and the piece they have doesn't fit. It's fun to see how long it takes them to ask another table if they have their piece. When it's all over, we talk about working together and the importance of everyone's participation. We end up referencing "that time when we did the puzzles" a lot throughout the year.|
|Heather Durnin||hdurnin||http://hdurnin.wordpress.com||On day 1, I introduce my new gr. 7 students to their Google Docs account, along with the help of the my gr. 8 students who used it last year. All students fill out Google Forms (What are your interests? Learning Styles, Class wiki scavenger hunt). |
By the end of the day, we all know a lot more about each other and they are comfortable with Google Docs. Links to the 2 forms are here (scavenger hunt is being updated). http://hdurnin.pbworks.com/Day-1!
|Mary||mlehman||I teach third grade and I am going to use backchanneling with them on the first day using TodaysMeet. I am hoping that the students will connect with each other and not feel intimidated by some students that are more outgoing.|
|Morgan||@Room5Friends||http://mlkolis.blogspot.com||First, I plan an activity outside of the school year during the summer months. This year, my class will be coming to my house for a swim party. Last year, we all met at an ice cream shop in town. (I can do this because I have a small number of students due to the fact that I teach kids with special needs.)|
Next, at Meet the Teacher Night, I make sure to play the Class Movie from the year before. (I teach K-3, so I often have the same students for 4 years.) I also make a yearly scrap book that we share on Meet the Teacher Night as well. Both the Movie and the Scrap Book help us make connections to the learning we did in the previous school year.
I also do my best to send out individualized Social Stories (Social Stories are trademarked by Carol Grey) to prepare each student for the start of a new school year.
|Debbie Coleman||djcoleman5230||I use Google Docs and Google Earth with the students during the first week of class. They create a Google Earth tour of the favorite places they have visited during the summer and present it to the class. They also enter into Google Docs the places and the distance traveled. It is a fun way for the students to share their summer highlights!|
|Sue Fitzgerald||sue_fitz||www.unpretentiouslibrarian.blogspot.com||I am always ready with colorful displays and new bookmarks and I'm open for business with the first bell. I like to stand out in the hallway and personally welcome everyone back before school and between classes.|
|John Reid||johnreid||I complete a Photo Booth video introduction with the students. This gives me a video with their picture and name -- to help memorize -- and it allows me to watch and assist students as they work through the project. It really lets me see how they work through a process and I get to have some conversations with them right away.|
|Hadley Ferguson||hadleyjf||http://hadleyjf.wordpress.com/||I teach middle school history. I start by putting away all maps and globes from the world. Then I give the students a big sheet of blank paper, colored pencils. In pairs, I have them brainstorm as many places that they can remember from anywhere in the world. After they have their list, they have to create a map of the world from memory. It gets them accessing their previous memories and sharing them. It is then the kick-off to a study of map projections and a conversation about how maps are created by people.|
|Mark Barnes||@markbarnes19||http://www.learnitin5.com/Digital-Classroom-Strategies||As the saying goes, first impressions are everything. I do a few simple things that I believe go a long way throughout the year.|
First, I stand at the door and greet every child, welcoming her/him to room 119. I NEVER begin with rules and expectations and I don't say a ton about myself. That's old school and it turns kids off.
I like to show them something cool on the IWB, letting them know that we do lots of cool things with technology. I tell them that they will have their own personal web site, including a blog and message board. I tell them the walls in my room are pretty much bare, as they will make up what goes there, because this is their room.
Most of all, I tell them we're going to have fun and learn about life.
I've said virtually nothing about language arts, about me and about rules.
Every year at open house, many parents approach me and say their child came home excited about my class.
This is my goal for day one.
|Ryan||@ryflinn||This year I am sending survey out using google Docs before school. I am a kinder teacher so I set up stations that my children can socialize and I can make it around room to smile and make connections! It is all about them feeling like I a listening and there for them! It also helps we have phase in so I only see six students at a time each day for the first week!|
|kelly alford||@kelalford||alfordnews.wordpress.com||We have a water balloon toss that goes on for about 30 minutes. Each child has to match up with a different child each time and with each toss they have to answer a question about themselves, We also take class and individual pictures so the room will be plastered with their adorable faces the next day. I make a huge point about this is OUR room, not My room!!! I also end the year with the water balloons. Lot's of fun!|
|Derek Braman||@DerekBraman||Mrbraman.edublogs.org||On the first day we play the name game, going throughout the room telling each student's name and something cool about them. They get to pick the style of voice. The next student has to repeat everyone before them then their own name and something cool until we get through the whole room. I have to bat cleanup and repeat everyone. We also get right into the computer lab to make Wordles for each student to use as a locker poster.|
|Natalie Wojinski||@mswojo||http://www.eztechintegration.blogspot.com||I greet my students at the door, ask for their ID (the school requires that they wear them), check them off my roll sheet, SAY their name while looking at them, then ask if I pronounced their name correctly. I tell them it is important that I say learn their name correctly. If I have it wrong, I repeat the name until I have said it correctly. Sometimes I find out that they DON'T want to be called by their first names or prefer a more Americanized pronunciation. This takes a long time with 35+ kids in each class, but helps to establish the idea that I see each student as an individual.|
|Jason Lobdell||JasonLobdell||- Play music between classes--students don't have to walk into a silent room, and they learn a little bit about me and my (awful) taste in music, and sometimes they start talking about what kind of music they like.|
- Play an intro game I call "Find Your Missing Piece": It's a shape puzzle for little kids (I teach high school). Each student has either a shape or a shape "holder;" they find someone whose piece will fit theirs, and then introduce themselves to each other and introduce their new friend to the class. (It's a school-appropriate version of the singles bar game "Nuts and Bolts.")
- I have a set of alphabet letter cards. I hand them out, and students have to form groups that spell words using the cards of everyone in the group; intros are made, shared, etc.
- We play the "Google Game": Student #1 tells us their name and the last thing they googled. Student #2 tells us their name, the last thing they googled, AND student #1's name/last thing googled. It builds around the room, etc. (Does this qualify as using tech?)
|teach2gt||Use wall wisher or todays meet to introduce myself & let students introduce themselves to each other.|
|Noreen Strehlow||noreenstrehlow||http://pesdtechnostuff.blogspot.com/||When my students arrive they will find my Reaction Grid avatar on my SMART Board showing them my virtual art gallery and art resource pavilion on the Reaction Grid. I will take their pictures and as they watch and help direct me, I will use the snipping tool to crop and save the pictures. I will upload their pictures to the Reaction Grid and with their direction, we will create a virtual display of cubes and make sure they help me label each prim with their correct name. This will give all of us a virtual 3D representation of the class, let me associate each name with a picture, and give each student an object to modify. As I learn more about each student, we can add textures to their cubes that will characterize some of their interests such as sports, foods, movies, music stars, or whatever categories they decide would be important. Since I teach K-8 art, I will have to do this for every student in the school. It will become a valuable resource as students add to and modify their interests over the course of time. We could even keep a display area for students who leave so all students know that they would be remembered no matter what.|
|Kevin||kevtech||www.siyensya.com||I teach middle school science and on the first day I burn a twenty dollar bill. The bill only burns on the outside because I'm using a mix of water and and isopropyl alcohol. |
This leads to a good discussion of safety and also I get a chance to learn some of the student's names. This is also a good introduction to the density concept as I refer back to this demo when teaching density.
I have a video of this if you want to see at www.siyensya.com/about
|Mark||ahern1968||Being visible at beginning, passing periods, lunch and after school. Going into classrooms, having a freshmen rally before school. I also gather lists of all my students who are meeting the A-G requirements at the beginning of the senior year. I write a letter to both them and their parents. Later we have an A-G assembly for these students celebrating them. They love it. |
I also attend all athletic events.
|maryjo||maryjochimo||http://mjchimo.blogspot.com/||I have students write me a letter telling me anything that they think I should know about them as a learner. Not only does this give me a jump start on who they are, but I also save these letters and give them back on the last day of school to see how they've grown.|
|Cecilia Coelho||@cecilialcoelho||I give them my email and MSN. I ask them what they do when they're surfing the net. Here in Brazil most kids (above 11) take part in a social community - much as Facebook - called Orkut. I give them my Orkut, I show them my blog and my electronic portfolio. I ask them how I can improve my portfolio. In the BNC I teach English at the students'assessment is done through electronic portfolios, so I show them mine as a preview of what I expect them to do with theirs. But the e-folio I show them is my actual professional portfolio.|
I also talk about the technology-related projects they'll be involved with during the semester - we have aproject called Tech Standards where we use do (somewhat) Content-based teaching, and we teach kids how to use some tech tools (blogs, wikis, softwares, podcasting, video making, etc)using English. On the first days we show them that.
Is this what you were looking for? I wasn't sure... : )
|Alison Bullock||aliringbull||alibull.edublogs.org||I take advantage of my extra time in the summer to write each upcoming student a quick post card, telling them that they'll be in my class in September. The pay off is enormous: student comfort; impressed parents because of your efforts; if someone is new to the area, their fears are dissolved by the outreach; kids can then bring the postcard in on the first day of school for a prize draw (pencils, erasers, little note pads- nothing extravagant. Here's more about when the kids enter in September:|
I post a bulletin board about myself first. It often sets a tone of respectful sharing. On it I include my education, interests, family, heritage, pets...all done with pictures and bilingual labels (I teach French and English).
By the end of the week, students are writing a brief journal entry about their goals for the academic year, including what they're nervous about, and what they're looking forward too. I take extra time to respond personally to each one of these; it pays off exponentially to validate students' feelings.
|Harold Shaw||hshawjr||http://www.resource220.com||I plan to do an activity where we make paper airplanes individually - no help, all quiet, fly them, then do it again only this time with help from whoever and fly them again. Then discuss that the difference and how they learned the second time. I have done this activity a couple of times and it usually works pretty well.|
|Bill Block||BillBlock||I used to have them fill out a paper survey form, indicating their interests and I would show them a PowerPoint presentation abbout me. |
After attending several keynotes and presentations at the #rscoc10 over the last few day, I now plan to show the kids a short Prezi out me and get them to create a short Prezi about themselves to introduce them to Prezi and get them to share something about their identity with me - to make a connection - an abreviated Identity Day of sorts.
|Cory Plough||@mrplough07||http://thenextstep.edublogs.org||Since I teach online, I do things a little differently but there are some things a traditional classroom teacher can do if wishing to get their kids comfortable online before moving into online content.|
Welcome Discussion - Have kids share a little about them and a pic that represents themselves. Should have guiding prompts, like What did you do this summer, what do you like about being online, where would you want to be if anywhere other than school etc
Online Icebreaker - Make a blog post in a class blog and have kids respond. You describe an important event in your life and let them comment with the same. Could also do the three truths and one lie, guess the lie icebreaker online, that's fun
and invite to FB group for class
or one social media site you will be using like Voicethread, make a short presentation, have them create an account and leave a comment.
|Laura Pilker||lpilker||http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/mrspilker||I love to play the "True/False" game with my students at the beginning of the year. On the screen at the front of my room (I'm a Computer Lab teacher), I post four facts about me, three of which are true and one which is false. The students have to format the font of the statements on their computer to indicate which three they think are true and which is false. Then I dramatically share the answers, telling a little story to go along with each fact. Next, they come up with their own true/false list, and switch seats with someone in the room to learn about each other. Meanwhile, I circulate and converse with the students about their statements, and through this process we all learn some very interesting things about each other. Everyone feels a little more relaxed and pleased to share something about themselves.|
|Kevin||@kscritch||Have them fill out a Google Form that I created with various questions about their families and backgrounds.|
Tell them about myself, my family and my background.
|Lance Bledsoe||bledsoe||www.lancebledsoe.com||I'm not sure I'm really "making connections" on the first day, but I spend most of it (and much of the following days) explaining and practicing my class rules and procedures (a la Harry and Rosemary Wong).|
|Pernille Ripp||4thgrdteach||mrspripp.blogspot.com||I show my sense of humor by acting out my pet peeves for the kids, basically making a fool of myself. We talk a lot in my room about what we like, dislike, explorations we have etc. Anything kids want to share. The biggest thing for me is that the kids know I am being authentic, sharing my life and that I trust them.|
|Kimberly||kburke11||I am having my kids fill out an interest survey about themselves. We are also going to read the book - Judy Moddy was in a mood and make "me" collages.|
|David Dodgson||@DaveDodgson||http://david-dodgson.blogspot.com/||I work as an EFL teacher in Ankara, Turkey in 3rd-5th grade of a private college. Each September, I enter classes entirely new to me so establishing connections on the first day is important to set the tone for the year and to ascertain what the class expects as well as their level of English.|
One of my favourite 'getting to know' you activities is 'Interesting Facts About Me (?)' in which I present several facts about myself including a few that are not true. I then ask the students to speculate about what they believe to be true and what they believe to be made up along with reasons why. As a follow-up, the students do the same activity inviting their peers to guess what is true about them.
Over the years, this activity has evolved from being one that I presented on the board and asked the students to recreate with pen and paper to a PowerPoint presentation with photos and videos embedded in 'support' of my statements. Last year, I asked my students not to recreate the activity immediately but to go away and create a presentation (in Powerpoint or any other format) to show to the class in the next lesson. This was great as a way to extend the activity beyond a single lesson and make it more engaging. The early chance to dabble in some computer work was seized by the students with great enthusiasm too.
For this coming year, I am planning to use Glogster to present my information with a video prepared with Movie Maker to be shown after the speculation phase to reveal the truth. I will then ask my classes to produce pieces about themselves on Glogster, Powerpoint or Movie Maker to be (permission pending) posted on a class blog thus taking the activity well beyond the classroom and building up a great resource for an introduction area. Can't wait to try it!
|Crystal Folger-Hawks||@cfolgerhawks||I teach high school. I have music playing when they come in, greet them at the door with a small treat (starburst, peppermint, etc.) and give them their first assignment as they walk in the door. The assignment is to make a desk name tag and to put the following on it: their name large in the center and around it, what they want to gain from this class and at least 2 things they like. I give them 15-20 minutes to decorate this with stickers and stamps and then we share these with the class. I share mine last and I share what I want them to gain from class and as I do this I go over the classroom expectations & syllabus with them.|
|Rachel Evans||@theatrerachel||Because I teach higher ed, I am able to take photos of the students. They arrive in my room and are asked to use crayons & markers to draw their name on a sheet of paper. (Most take time to embellish without prompting!) They chill with each other while I take them one-by-one out into the hall and snap a "mug shot" of them holding their name paper (written in their own hand) at chest height. We get to share a smile together and 30 sec. of chit chat. Later, I print out the photos and use them as my flashcards to quiz myself on learning their names. I have 100s of these from semesters long past. Often, I show them to the class on the last day-- reminding them how far they've come from the first-day smiles. I get to keep their photo with a small artistic sample of their names that often reminds me of their personalities, too.|
|Ian Snyder||dalmatiasecond||http://ateachr.blogspot.com/||My second grade students always come in scared the first day (sometimes a few tears). I am the first male teacher they get. I like to break the ice by telling them about myself and preview some of the fun things we will do. I usually read a back to school book. I give them a tour of the room, and explain the class rules. This year I am going to do a couple simple ice breakers games, and have them share the things they like best about 1st grade.|
|Mike||mreduhowto||eduhowto.wordpress.com||First day of school we create a self logo. An image that would best describe and represent them as an individual. It is fun and they come up with some great images.|
|VRBurton||@MsBisOnline||http://2blog2share2learn.edublogs.org/||I use Kagan Structures that get them up and allows them to move about the room as they share information with one another: Find Someone Who and Guess The Fib are 2 good structures for this|
I also use google forms to get some basic information from the kids to be used to further assess them and also just to get fun facts about them.
This first survey is a way of gaining information about their likes/dislikes
This second survey is purely for fun, it asks random questions
|J Williams||SWFloridaart||we create posters of the ideal classroom|
|Sam||I create a google form for students to fill out and I embed it into my school website.|
|Randy Lewis||Johnnybronco07||Pursuitofrandomness.wordpress.com||I hand each student an index card and have them write their demographic info. As well as the answers to pretty random questions (favorite website, last song they heard, favorite tv show), their learning style, etc. I will read them later because I also have them ask one question that want to know about me and spend the first period of the year answering those questions. Some are personal, some ask about the course, some ask about homework and some ask really random things back. I always thought the students liked hearing the answers and it allowed them to get to know me a little better and I will know them a little better from their responses.|
|Katie Hellermanemail@example.com||http://www.theteachinggameblog.com||I think that playing a short simple game that relates to your subject is a great way to start the first day. That way, when the parent asks about new teachers, the student will have a happy memory. They'll say "Oh, we played this game where we...." versus "We just went over the rules."|
|Kim||kcollazo||http://kcollazo.wordpress.com||I give them a quiz about me. Obviously these are things they wouldn't know so they are basically guessing. We have fun when everyone gets to share their guesses and we talk about the "right" answer. There are lots of laughs when kids who share the same "favorites" with me talk about it. It's always lots of fun, and I offer a candy bar to whomever got the most correct on the quiz. We really get to know each other and connect with each other through this activity. It's always lots of fun!|
|Kelly Mogk||kellylou||http://gladlybeyond.edublogs.org/||I think relationship building is one of the most important things I do with my kids. We spend time at the beginning of the year sharing stories of our summer, our lives, our experiences -- I share emotionally rich stories of my own that invite them to share also. |
We bring in "life artifacts" and pictures to show who we are.
And of course, we play tons of team building games the first few weeks that break down any insecurities and get everyone feeling like part of a team.
|Geri Coats||@gericoats||in the first weeks, I will be attempting to use @gcouros' identity day project to allow my students to get to know each other, their school, the staff/admin. I am also going to try to do some sort of scavenger hunt, with the major areas of campus, important people being on the hunt.|
I will get them in a computer lab within the first week to try and get their attention with my level of desired tech integration.
all experimental at this point. can't wait to see your results for some ideas!
|Jeanie Robinson||c3mcssteacher||I read Wong every year before the kids come back. I make sure I have my name displayed 3 times in and around my room and I greet each one with a smile and a handshake. Our school goes on a field trip the first day for team building exercises and a barbecue. This is my second year at this school. I thought it was a nutty idea at first, but you know what, it makes going back to school a celebration and a positive. Really works.|
|Ally||FlyontheCWall||http://flyontheclassroomwall.blogspot.com/||I know ... it seems "obvious" but I also make sure to "schedule/pencil in" some time to just sit with my kids on the carpet (I teach Gr5) and chat!|
I may read a picture book first or play a game, but a little time to chat informally can go a long way ;-)
|"Me Bag" Activity. They bring in "artifacts" about themselves in a bag - any collection of items that tell us something about who they are and their interests. They share the bags and the special items with the class. The activity gives everyone a chance to share and learn about their classmates.|
|Wendy Eiteljorg||WendyE40||I tell my students a story of a trip I took with another teacher. I have pictures and text that I share a little at a time. The story tells not just of our trip but about my character traits, both good and bad. The final point is that even though we lost our luggage on the first day and never saw it again, it turned out we had what we needed (our characters) with us. (I know it sounds a little silly when it's shortened like this, but it's a good story and the kids eat it up.) So we talk about packing our "backpacks" for school and our 5th grade journey with the qualities we have already that will help us. I share my backpack with qualities and then the students are more willing to share theirs. We each pick 3 good qualities that we have that will help us during our year as well as 1 "danger" one that sometimes gets us in trouble. During the year we refer back to them and use this format to think about the characters we read about in our novels.|
|Class meetings to discuss different topics - community, respect, being good learners, etc.|
|RoseStrubinger||I ask the students to tell me three facts about them, but one of the facts has to be false. I have to guess the false fact. The class gets a kick out of it!|
|Susan Dee||@literacydocent||http://thebookmavenshaven.blogspot.com||A few years ago I started doing a Shoebox Autobiography with my students. I first heard about this idea while reading Frank Serafini's work. I start by sharing my shoebox with the students. The outside is decorated with things that tell about me. For example I love to travel so I used a road map to cover the outside of my box. I included names of places I have traveled. I also added words such as walking, cooking, scrapbooking...all things I enjoy doing. Inside the box are items that tell about me. I include a favorite picture book, my passport (kids get a big kick out of that!), pictures of me growing up, pictures of my family, menu from a favorite restaurant, etc. After sharing mine, I give the students guidelines for creating their own. I also provide shoe boxes if needed. Students have about four days to complete their box and bring it in. Over the next couple of weeks, two students share their box during our Morning Meeting each day. While they share, I am taking notes of interests, likes, experiences, etc. It's a great community building activity! And I really learn a lot about my students. |
I have also used the Shoebox Autobiography with graduate students when I teach Children's Literature. The guidelines are a bit different because I ask them to focus on their own literacy learning from a young age to now. It is a really powerful way to help them reconnect with their own literacy experiences as a child, or lack thereof, and identify ways they can make literacy connections happen for their students.
I can email guidelines for both to anyone who might be interested.
|Lisa Parisi||lparisi||lisaslingo.blogspot.com||I spend the first 6 weeks of school wrapped around the idea of Responsive Classroom. The goal is to get to know each other, create a comfortable, safe, enjoyable learning environment, and learn respect for each other. http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/bookstore/rp_firstsixweeks.html|
In addition, I start the kids in on their first project, usually science. This first, simple project gets them to learn how to work in groups, how PBL works, and it starts our academic year off.
|Carlos||Fernandezc4||I try and break stereotypes that the kids have already formed of me by watching me in the halls the previous two years. I come off as a mean teacher, and that is true. If you are not my student I am mean. If you are my student, I am actually a pretty neat guy. Every year I get terrified students in my classroom the first day, I break that real quick after 15 minutes of talking. The first couple of days I try and focus on procedure in my classroom so they get used to the way I run things. Having said that I do this with out barking at students. Its important to set up a good open relationship with them the first days.|
|PrincpalNelson||Since we have our 6th graders for one year in our building, we learn 100 names very quickly by playing the 'name game' at lunch time. I go around to tables and memorize 10 names or so at a time the first week. I test myself each day to turn my short term memory into my long term! It's a great way to interact with kids and make connections!|
|Kristin Bunde||kbunde1||http://alibrarianinthemaking.blogspot.com/||I make myself visible outside the building before school starts, in the hall as students enter classrooms, in the lunchroom--to reconnect & remind students they need a reading book! (on a day when it might not cross their mind...)|
I am in a new building this year so it is very important that I try to build those relationships as early as possible...but that is more of a challenge on the first day when they may not even recognize me, unless they attended open house (and even then they might not remember!) I will schedule classes in the library ASAP--even the first day! (I will remind teachers that the break is good for both of them...and they want those kiddos to have books NOW!)
|lalena||I make sure that the kids know that I want their parents to feel be a volunteer in the classroom. I think kids feel more enthused and comfortable when they know that their parents are involved. I take a poll to see who would like their mom or dad to be a classroom parent and then contact appropriately. |
I use the free parent signup forms on http://www.signupgenius.com/backtoschool
|Laura||TechSavvylaura||I have the students use Microsoft Word to create a collage. At the center is their name and then around their name they add pictures from the Internet and personal photos including items that are important to them or things they like. This allows for me to get to know them, for the students to get to know each other...and it also shows me some of their knowledge of Microsoft Word.|
|TxTechTeach||Last year I did two things at the beginning of school:|
1)I created a simple survey on surveymonkey to find out about the students: what do you want to learn, what do you know, etc. and also found out who has a computer and internet available away from school. (we live in low socioeco area)
2) My class is a hybrid class, with content being available in Moodle. I had the students add to a forum that began "You'll never believe what happened this summer...". It introduced them to Moodle and broke the ice in class, as well as showed me their keyboarding abilities so I could gauge their skills.
|Ingrid Ristroph||MsRistroph||msristroph.weebly.com||I use a few things: a) a Prezi presentation that I allow students to explore on their own, b) a True/False quiz with Quizdom to clarify preconceived notions about their math teacher, and c) reference my twitter and Flickr accounts.|
|Carrie||We (my co-teacher and myself) make powerpoint presentation about ourselves. Then have the kids work on one about themselves. This way we can see how computerized the class really is, and we get to know better.|
|Melissa||melissad0312||http://thetechnologyrichroom.blogspot.com/||I take digital photographs of all the kids and we create a get-to-know you presentation that runs during the first couple of weeks as a journal prompt. We continue to add to it throughout the year. They love it! So do the parents by the way :)|
|Louise Maine||hurricanemaine||hurricanemaine.blogspot.com||Shake their hand and welcome them to class. I usually ask their name when I shake their hand. Easier to remember some of the names. I try not to jam rules at them and have them do little ice breakers to get them moving around to find potential group members.|
|Lisa Bond||teachingwell||I have each of my students write a letter to themselves that they will read the last week of school. I tell them to describe how they feel on the first day, who their closest friends are, what they wore, how tall they are, etc. |
By the end of the year, they have almost always grown physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. They're usually extremely open about how they've grown or changed and learn to see growth in others as well.
|Tracy Laverty||@tracylaverty||www.lavertyonline.com||I have tried various techniques in the past, but this year will be different. Thanks to twitter and #rscon10 I will be begining the class with an edtech revolution. I will use poll everywhere for the first 5 minutes of class with a question like "How could you use your cel phone or mobile device to compliment classroom learning?". Hopefully, if wikifitti or wallwisher work in canada I can then switch to brainstorming the answer and more. I will finish the period with a brainstorming session around digital etiquette. Thanks for asking.|
|Phil Cowcill||CanadianPacMan||First I work with college students but I think this can be applied to almost any age. I have a scavenger hunt. However, rather than the students going to places to get signatures or pick up something to prove they found the place, I have them take a picture with their cell phones. They will then take their pictures and place them inside a PowerPoint file. Each team will present their pictures and findings and sharing their stories behind the pictures.|
|Sara Callentine||@scallentine||www.mscallentine.weebly.com||A simple but exciting activity for my 1st graders is that of having each student place his or her name on our word wall - these will be the first words to go up! It's best if you can photograph the kiddos and attach their picture to their name. I'll put my name up too. A variety of activities can stem from this one throughout that first week, such as graphing the number of students whose names begin or end the same or playing any kind of guessing game. This year, I'm going to do two versions, one paper and one for the smart board.|
|Shannon||shanemps||We do various team building activities and 'get to know you' activities. One year I did a mini lesson on the history of the Totem pole. Students then partnered up discovered similarities and differences between them and had to choose two each. They then were given a box on two sides of the box they were to creatively/symbolically represent their similarities and on the other two sides they were to do the same, only with their differences. Each pair then presented their 'boxes'. We then piled the boxes one on top of the other, from largest to smallest and that represented out class totem pole. We then created a class pledge about our class 'family' which we recited each day. This brought us all together almost immediately.|
|Sheryl||Ryder||CABusinessEd.org||I greet them at the door. I do icebreakers and make sure that I participate with each group so I meet every student individually before beginnnig content lessons. I don't do books or class policies until at least the third day.|
I have them fill out pertinent info on a 3x5 card so I can include their interests in lessons throughout the year. I also use those cards to call on each equally and offer extra credit for answering questions, assisting me in demonstrations and all kinds of fun things, as well as the hard stuff. They eagerly anticipate their name coming up as I go through them alphabetically.
|Katherine Maloney||1katty||http://katherinemaloney.blogspot.com/||I think that it is important for not only the teacher to connect with his or her new students, but also for the students in the class to connect with one another. To that end, I write a letter of introduction to my students (this year I am going to post it on my blog). At the end of the letter, I invite the students to write a reply. During our next class session, every member of the class, including myself, must read and respond to everyone else's letters. This year, all of my students will be setting up their own blogs, so their letters of introduction will be their first post.|
|Lisa Nielsen||InnovativeEdu||http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com||Just love how this first grade teacher used Facebook to connect with kids and parents http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2010/07/8-real-ways-facebook-enriched-ms.html.|
|shelli_j||Use WallWisher to encourage kids to ask questions while going through standard 1st day info.|
|Jay||Juhill117||I play a name plus object memory game. Kids love the game idea. I learn all name by day two. Then I transition into believing in themselves. Young people invariably think "I can not remember all that." when done all 25-30 kids do it with little to no difficulty. And they have fun. The next day we compete a learning styles survey. This way they know what type of learner they are and how they bedt learn. Sorry, day two are expectations, policies and general classroom etiquette. Probably more than you sake but this has worked. why fix what works?.|
|Tracy||@tracymercier||cloudclassroom.blogspot.com||I begin on the 1st day by watching & listening to the children. I begin by asking them what they want to do this school year, what do they hope to learn or accomplish. I find this really helpful in getting them to realize that their voice is valued by me.|
|aprogers||rogers_suzanne||I show them I care by creating and fostering a Harry Wong approved classroom. :)|
I create an animoto with each student's photo so that they feel welcomed and wanted. During our first week discussion of rules, I ask what they think and what they need from a teacher. This is usually the first time a teacher asks this question. I touch base with students I know and ask questions about family and jobs. I help new students feel comfortable by helping with whatever they need. I encourage my returning students to simply smile and help anyone that needs it. Our baby students (6th) have never dealt with lockers-I encourage our older HS students to help whenever possible.
I provide a HW pass during the first week that is redeemable at any point. They always appreciate it and a bookmark. My rules are simple Respectful, Receptive and Responsible. I explain that these simple rules will help them succeed in life. Our huge handbook could be condensed to these three rules.
|Nicolle Davis||@daviscte||I teach mostly high school seniors. My students are starting a very exciting year of their lives. After I introduce myself, I have the class come up with some things they would like to do or things they are looking forward that year. I just write them on the board. Nothing fancy. Just looking ahead to the year. They have watched the classes ahead of them enjoy all the excitement of the year and most of them have specific things they want to accomplish. We do this together as a class and this helps to connect me to their lives as well as them to each other.|
|Mary Beth||mbteach||http://philly-teacher.blogspot.com||As a prep teacher this can be a challenge. What I try to do is tell them as much as I can about myself. Then I ask them what they think they should learn in a computer class or about their favorite project from last year. |
We also brainstorm what kinds of rules or expectations we should have and discuss classroom environment.
I also like to talk a little, time permitting, about anything exciting they did over the summer.
Being a prep teacher is challenging in that your first 'days' are really first 'weeks.' I only get 45 minutes to make a good impression and get to know your classes!
|Katy||katycom1972||Someone gave this idea to me and it was a success. We did it on the first day and the last day of school. It's called Name in Motion. |
Stand in a circle. Everyone says their first name, one word that describes something about them, and then they do a motion to describe that word. For example, "Katy, swimming," and then I move my arms as if I'm swimming. The next person announces their name, describing word and motion but then everyone goes back to mine and says my name, word and motion and the next person's name, word and motion. It continues like that so at the end, everyone is saying everyone's name, word and motion and they have repeated some students' name,word and motion over and over. You can have fun by trying to do it quickly. You can also slow it down if it gets too challenging. It really helps me to learn their names, something they like and also their personality as I see how they act while doing this activity. Then of course, they forget all about it and when I tell them we are going to do it on the last day of school and see if they remember everyone's name, word and motion, they get very excited. No materials/prep, about a 10-15 minute activity depending on class size, a gem I will use every year!
|This year, as I'm moving to elementary, I'm pulling out something that made an impression on me as a kid. I am passing a roll of toilet paper, instructing kids to take as many as they would normally "use". Then they each have to tell one thing about themselves per square. I'll play, too, of course.|