Back to school is a busy and crazy time! There are so many things we have to do. I believe that getting to know our students is one of the most important things we have to do. But how do I fit it in?!
I Have So Many Students!
You are not in this boat alone. If you’re like me and have two classes of kids, getting to know 50 kids quickly can be tough! Even just one homeroom takes a lot of time. Don’t worry… every teacher feels this need to get to know their students as well as they can and as quickly as they can.
Take a Breath
Your children know you care about them from the moment you greet them on day one. Lots of cheers, nice to meet you’s, and just plain ol’ positive energy are your superpowers those first few days of school. They’re also very perceptive and will know that you are making attempts to get to know them. Heck, you can even outright say, “I can’t wait to get to know all of you so much deeper!”
From “Brag Sheets” that parents fill out for me, to students doing their own version of a “Brag Sheet”, to icebreakers that are designed to help teachers and students get to know one another, there are plenty of opportunities!
How I Solve This Problem
When school is back in session, one of things my students always do is create a digital All About Awesome Me! slideshow. I give each student a copy of a Google Sheets presentation that they can edit on their own.
Kids can work on this when you have those “things” you have to do. For example, my students usually work on their Slide deck when I’m DIBELing, doing math diagnostics, for morning work, etc. I must put one caveat in here… by the time my kids get to me in 5th grade, they have a very good understanding of Google Slides. I don’t need to teach them a whole lot about how to use it, but there will be some troubleshooting you might have to do.
Once students have had ample opportunity to work on these Slide decks, we do two things.
First, I have the students choose ONE page from their Slide Deck that they are comfortable with their classmates seeing. Then, we do a Gallery Walk around the room and kids read about each other. The simple procedure is “You may only read their slide. Please do not touch their computer and move to another slide.” Kids love this!!!
Second, I assign this through Google Classroom and I am easily able to look through each kids’ Slide deck to learn about them. I reference this ALL YEAR, especially for my kids who need some extra lovin’, so I love that it stays in my Classroom.
Curious What it Looks Like?
I have put together a sample of what students get when they use my All About Awesome Me! slide decks. There are three themes: Farmhouse (our current favorite), Cactus, and Pineapple. Take a look and see if this is something you’d want to use in your classroom!