Friday, August 6, 2010

How Educators Connect With Kids On The First Days Of School

Last week I asked for your ideas on how you make connections with kids on the first days of school. I am overwhelmed by the response. With right at 80 ideas there is surely something here for everyone, or at least a new idea to try.

I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 :)

You can view the rest of the responses here and I have them below also.

Did someone leave out something? Do you have an idea to share? Leave it in the comments below.

Have a wonderful start to the school year!
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