Hopefully, the start of the school year has been a good one for all of youJ. Students are still excited about being back in the classroom so teachers need to find activities to build on that enthusiasm!
Regardless of grade level or subject taught, there are many ways to kick off the year on a very positive note with the bottom line being that each and every student will feel fully confident, safe, and valued in the classroom. This is especially important in classes with English language learners at all levels of English proficiency (beginning through advanced). For ELLs, a new school year can be a bit intimidating at first so spending time on classroom procedures, rules, family atmosphere, etc. is time well spent.
Here are a few highly effective approaches that work quite well.
1. Have students create a fake FACEBOOK page. Since FACEBOOK is international, everyone is already familiar with the format. Print them out and post them around the room in elementary school. Have students in high school (or middle) interview 3 other students on their FAKE FACEBOOK pages and share the results with the class.
2. Have students take a short quiz on multiple intelligences. The results can be charted as a class graph. Students could also write a short paragraph on how they were surprised (or not) by their findings. Most importantly, teachers will develop a deeper insight into what types of projects would best tap their skills.
3. Have students interview each other (teacher designs the questions). After a 10 minute or so interview, students must share the results with the class. Since there is no grade involved, students will approach this stress free.
4. Involve students in creating some class rules with consequences (there is much more buy in when they are involved in the process).
5. Have students write a letter to their future selves. This activity is one students really enjoy because they can actually see their growth by the end of the school year. Students go to FUTURE SELF, write a letter about their hopes, concerns, worries, strengths, etc., include their email addresses and the date they wish the letter sent to them (make it some time during the last month of school).
6. Ask teacher neighbors for any ideas they have as wellJ
Have great September and well-deserved Labor Day Weekend holiday.
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