The first thing starting the year that is a top priority for me is to get to know my students. While this takes time, here are some of the things I do the first week of school to get to know everyone.
#1) Learning Styles Surveys
You can never be too over-prepared for the first couple of days of school!!! I love have these surveys printed and ready to go for a moment when I need a 10-20 minute activity. They are great reflection tools and great for students to add to their portfolio. Also, another good way to get to know the kids!
#2)All About Me TOTEM POLES
I am SO excited about this next project I am going to try this year! Got Paper Towel Rolls??? I have been collecting mine all summer for the kiddos to do this take home project so I can get to know them better. The directions? Cover the roll with ANYTHING in your house that you can find that reveals information about you. I had so much fun creating mine and this is how I will introduce myself to my students the first day. I am excited to have my students create and write about each item they decide to add to their totem pole. I'm thinking it will make a great looking bulletin board. I'm SO excited about these!!!
Something I can do immediately is go to the expert on the child….the parent. 2 must-knows for myself are allergies and asthma, so I highlight those on the top right of the form. I also like to get down to the nitty gritty and ask specific things about behavior and academics so that I can begin to familiarize myself with where a student may need extra support.
The first day is all about survival! Getting to know 34 names can be tough. When the students walk in, I like to give them an index card where they can fill out basic information that would be helpful for me to refer to. I just love having the cards that I can quickly shuffle through and figure out who is who! I attached the PDF to the pic below so you can easily print and put under the doc reader so the kids know what to write.
Every year I love to have my students create these Getting To Know You Index Card House Towers. They offer an alternative to the traditional all about me project and look really great for Open House! Click on the pic below to see further instructions and to get a copy of the template.
Other Resources to Kick Start Your Year!
Please share what you have had success with the first week of school.
Do you have a special way to get to know your students?