Question Detail

What is the best way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year?

Nov 22, 2015 2:09pm

I want to know my students so that I can incorporate their interests in my lesson.

  • Math
  • 4-8
  • Engagement / New Teachers

4

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    • Nov 23, 2015 1:00pm

      Hi Alli! I start every year with an activity called Talking Points. I typically use math points as the focus, but I can see nothing wrong with throwing some statements about things that would draw out their interests. I wrote about it here: https://mathmindsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/week-one-talking-points-math-mindset/

      Good Luck!
      Kristin

      • Nov 23, 2015 1:57pm

        I like giving students early opportunities to work together on something that allows each of them to contribute in a meaningful way. I found the problems from the Week of Inspirational Math on youcubed.org gave my students space to be who they are because the problems were open enough that all students had different ways to make mathematical contributions. The problems can really be done at time in the year to make sense and communicate with students about learning mathematics.

        • Nov 23, 2015 6:48pm

          I always use this activity at the beginning of the year. This personality test not only allows me to learn about my students, but it also allows them to learn about me. The animal theming adds a softer touch.

          http://thaoski.com/2013/04/02/5-minute-personality-test-lion-beaver-otter-golden-retriever/#comments

          • Nov 24, 2015 6:52pm

            That is great that you want to get to know your students and be able to incorporate their interests into your lessons. I love some of the ideas mentioned above. I would add that sometimes it just takes time to get to know your students too. Make an effort to have quick conversations with your students before and after class, bring up some of your own interests when teaching them as well so they get to know you. Have them write and illustrate word problems and see what kind of ideas they come up with. It might take some time but if you put the effort in to get to know your students, it will happen. That has always been my approach!