8 Practical Strategies to Ge to Know Your Students

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August 23, 2014
As a teacher, the first week of the new school year is always an exciting time for me as I get to deal with new classes and new students.There is always that deep-seated drive to know your students and learn about their learning styles, their previous academic background and what they expect from your  class. Each teacher has her/his own strategy to get to know their students but now with the widespread of technology, a number of digital activities can be used to enable students to express themselves freely and articulate what they want others to know about them. Creating autobiographical trailers, audio clips, blog postings..etc are some examples of how students can use technology to introduce themselves to their peers and to their learning community.

There are also a set of other interesting strategies that are not necessarily technology based and which teachers can use to get to know their students. The handy visual below features some of them . Check it out and share with us what you think of it. Enjoy

1- The silent line
Students are given a criteria and must get themselves organized into a line as quickly as possible, without talking! Examples of criteria are height, shirt colour, etc

2-Ready, set, group!
Students should from and re-form groups quickly with criteria given by the teacher. Ex: make a group of three people with the same colour hair. Once the group has settled into smaller groups, give direction for a different grouping.

3- Toss the name ball
Students sit in a circle. The person who starts out with the ball says the name of a person, then tosses them the ball. If the ball is dropped, the group must re-start from the beginning.

4- Cross if you…
The group sits in a circle with one person in the middle. The middle person designates a criteria, and everyone who meets it should cross and find a new seat. The person who has no seat goes to the middle and selects the next criteria.

5-Snowball flight!
Each person writes one thing they are excited about, one they are nervous about, and one thing they want to learn. The papers are crumpled into balls and put in a pile. Each student then picks a ball and must find the person it belongs to.

6-Truth vs lie
Each person thinks of 2 facts and one lie about themselves. Each tells the whole group their three items and the group must guess which is the lie.

7- Foodie friends
Each person states their name and then a food that begins with the same letter as their name. The next person must repeat the previous names and foods, and then add their own.

8-A poem about me
Each student writes a poem of five lines: 1.3 things they like 2. 3 things they dislike 3.3 words that describe them 4. a place they'd like to visit 5. 3 movies they've seen then share with the class.

know your students strategies