Building Personal Relationships with Your Students on the First Day of School

Every back to school season, I rack my brain of different ideas to get to know my students. In the past, I have done activities like The Best Part of Me and Three Things I Want My Teacher to Know. However, midyear I unexpectedly came up with a truly unique method to easily get to know my students in a fun way.

      While reading the novel, War with Grandpa, as a pre-reading activity, I had my students describe, explain, and draw a map of their bedroom. I wanted to know whether they shared their room with anyone, what their room was made up of, what they liked, and disliked about it. This activity was engaging and simple which is perfect for the first days of school. Class time was given to complete it and students were provided the template worksheet, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. 
Easy ways to get to know your students on the first day of school

The benefit of using this lesson to get to know your students at the beginning of the year is because the information held in their drawings and their writing allowed me to gauge their levels of independence, living conditions, and provided an insight into their home life. I now knew who still slept with their parents, who was living in a one-bedroom apartment as a family of five, or who had all the amenities that any 10-year-old kid could want. This allowed me to become more empathetic to the needs of my students allowing me to do my job as a teacher a little bit better. 

Using art and writing to quickly get to know your students personally at back to school season

Digital Back to School Activity to Promote Social - Emotional Learning

Looking to go digital this year? To plan for the unexpected, I developed this back to school social - emotional activity that can be completed in class or in a distance learning classroom. In classrooms that are remote learning, it is even more important to build relationships with your students and foster a classroom community. This getting to know you activity will allow that that happen. Click to get a closer look

back to school digital SEL activity for the distance learning classroom

Click through to find more Back-to-School activities and freebies to help build

relationships from the first day of school!

Get to Know Your Students with the 4 C's of Engineering // Kerry Tracy

5 back to school activities to build relationships with your students

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