Teachers in my district went back to school last week, and today is our first day with students. I’ve always had challenges with get to know you activities, not because I don’t want to get to know my students, but because I feel like, sometimes, there’s a disconnect. Most of my students know each other already, so they see no value in these activities. Not to mention that they have five classes each day, all doing similar things.
One of the big projects I do at the beginning of the semester involves students writing their literacy autobiographies. It’s something I’ve seen as an assignment for pre-service teachers, but not something I’ve seen much research on using with secondary students.
I think, though, that by sharing literacy experiences, there is an opportunity start building community and and establishing a tone for the class in a way that’s different from everyone else, in addition to being relevant for the work we’re trying to do. I’m excited about the potential.
Basically, the activity involves brainstorming an important literacy event in their lives (following a discussion about what literacy is), paper blogging that experience, and then recording the title and a one sentence summary and posting it on our class Instagram account.
I’m imagining it’s going to look something like this:
I also envision myself using this strategy to help students activate their prior knowledge about topics that will come up throughout the semester. Did I mention that I was excited? Because I am.
How do you get to know your students?
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