August 15, 2014

Awesome Getting-To-Know-Your-Students Task

School is starting next week for me, and I just finished creating my Name Sign for the new year. This activity is my favorite way to start the school year because it's a non-threatening, creative way for me to learn about my students and their interests. Like all great things, I stole this idea. It comes from The First Six Weeks of School by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete.
I go over each image with the class as a way to introduce myself.

We always do this activity on the first day of school. As the students draw and color, I walk around and ask each student about their work:
"What are you drawing for your favorite thing to do? That's so cool that you enjoy ____ !"

There are 4 boxes on the Name Sign:
1. Someone who taught you something
My aunt taught me how to keep a puppy occupied
 2. Your favorite place in the world
Driving in my car , Ernesto, with my two dogs, Lucy & Boomer
3. Your favorite thing to do
I love swimming laps
4. A time when you spent 3 great days in a row
I spent 3 great days in a row at the beach with my family.
The First Six Weeks of School suggests pairing students to share their Name Signs with someone, then having each student share something they learned about their partner in a whole-class circle. This activity is terrific every year. It gives me a great way to make a connection with every student right at the beginning, and the sharing process sends the message that we care about the individuality of each student.

~ Amanda

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