Wk 2: Getting to Know You
I tried something new this year. I wanted to get students talking to each other right away and so when trolling the internet. I found this blog post by Sandy Merz called Teaching Secrets: Getting to Know Students Through Seating Challenges. I was hooked!
The moment students walked into my class on the first day they saw these directions: Sit in your birthday order…. I didn’t say a word, just smiled and pointed. Just as Sandy suggested, student “true colors” presented themselves immediately. Some classes got in order really quickly but others took “for ever.” I then had them take on roles in their table groups. Lots of chatter and fun.
On the second day, I repeated the process with a new seating task: Line up in alphabetical order by the name you like to be called. Some students rolled their eyes but got involved. The strategies used to line up were unique to each class. Some classes were really efficient and others continued to use inefficient strategies….so we talked about how to work together more efficiently.
On the third day (which was Friday), there was a slight twist….I met them at the door with the directions including no talking while completing the task. Their task was to line up in order by height.
What was so great was that on Friday’s exit ticket which asked students to share a High and Low for the first week, almost every student wrote that they REALLY enjoyed the getting to know you activities and that they were glad that they had met so many classmates during the first week. This is a winning strategy in my book!
What did you do the first week that a promoted positive, collaborative classroom environment?