The new school year is here! Let’s talk about how to get to know your students.
Every year I teach a combo class with new kindergarten students in it. This means, I get around 6-8 new students each year. How do I get to know them all? Let me show you.
Have Them Make an All About Me Book
Every new year, I begin with using The First Ten Days resource from Simply Special Ed. This is one way I am able to get to know my students because it has an All About Me book built in. The all about me book is also available individually here. I have learned so much about my students early on because of this resource! Also, my students love creating their books each year.
Rely on the people who know your students best – their family. Each year, even if my students are returning to me, I send home surveys and questionnaires. I ask the child’s favorites, skills, what the families’ concerns are, etc. The students’ families are going to be your biggest resource for getting to know your students! Alyssa has Back to School Forms and Surveys available for free here. Learn more about back to school forms in this blog post.
Student Surveys/Preference Assessments
A great way to get to know your students is through preference assessments. I love using Google for preference assessments. One way to create a student survey/assessment, is with forms. You can quickly make a survey for your students asking what they like/dislike and differentiate for different levels. I also love to use photos in my forms surveys.
This is just one way to take a preference assessment. This method is not great for all students, however. Many students need tangible options in order to choose their favorites. SSE blogger, Arielle give some great advice on conducting a preference assessment using tangibles in this post.
Spend Time With Them/Observe Them
Relationships are the most important part of your job as teacher. Building positive relationships with your students goes a long way. If you spend quality time with them, you WILL get to know them.
Sometimes we think that we have to teach right away, but the best teaching and learning comes when a student loves and trusts their teacher. I promise, if you take time to spend time with your students, you will get to know them.
Alternatively, you can observe them during play time and take data on what they go for most. I suggest using this data sheet for play observations.
I wish you the best of luck with getting to know your students this year! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
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