At the beginning of the year, conducting activities that will help students get to know each other while also creating a safe, learning centered classroom culture are a valuable use of your time! This slideshow should be used to allow students to think critically about the behavior expectations in this new environment while also giving them an opportunity to offer their own opinions and insights to create standards for getting along with one another this school year.
The slideshow begins with a warm-up writing activity that asks students to name people whom they already trust and get along with, but more importantly, to analyze why this is true. Have students share out after they have some quiet time to draft their own responses. Next, click on the image to play the video 'If You Really Knew Me', and then have students finish the sentence starters provided (the teacher should participate too) - this is another opportunity for students to share personal information and really get to know you and their classmates.
If you like the strategy where students help to brainstorm and create classroom rules, the final part of the slideshow is similar. Students are asked to brainstorm standards of behavior that are TERRIFIC, OK, and NOT OKAY. In small groups, or individually, students should share their ideas to the entire class while the teacher creates a master list.
The other activity included in this bundle, is a fantastic way for you to get to know your students and for students to get to know each other. Inspired by the MTV specials, If You Really Knew Me, this activity first asks students to respond in writing to 11 personal questions, such as, My relationship with my family is... and What I find most difficult about coming to school is…
After students have written their answers, you have a lot of freedom as to how you'd like students to share this information - you could do partners (turn and talk), small groups (timed share), whole group (volunteers or spinner choice), gallery walks (add to posters), or you could even just take them home for yourself to read if students feel this is too personal to share with everyone.