One activity that I like to do on the first day of class is a selfie challenge. Students always have their cellphones with them and they love taking selfies. This challenge is a low risk activity for students to get to know one another and their prof! This activity gets students up and out of their seats, chatting, and getting to know one another. First step in creating a selfie challenge is create a list of challenges you want students to complete. Here is a short list of challenges I put on the board:
Like I said I like to do this on the first day of school because it gets the students up and out of their seats and talking to one another. I am a big believer in students knowing their classmates and who is their class. After students complete the challenge in the allotted amount of time (no more than 10 minutes) I ask students to send me their favorite selfie or two and to post their selfie on Instagram or Twitter using #gccedu explaining what their selfie is showing. Once I get all the emails from students (or you can set up a dropbox for students to submit their selfies) I create a video using Animoto to show the second day of class. This is a great way for students to see others' selfies and pictures - it is a good time with lots of laughs and smiles. Like I stated before this is a great way for students to interact with one another and with you - to get to know them a little bit in a fun way.
Some variations you can do:
Just a few ideas for you to chew on as we start our new semester. How do you get to know your students at the beginning of the year?
I enjoy giving my students formative assessment. It helps me as an educator know where they are in their learning. I can understand more clearly if I need to go back and reteach a concept or if I can move on in the lesson. One tech tool that you can use to conduct formative assessment is the assessment feature within ClassFlow. Let's dig a little deeper into this tool.
You can check out my example ClassFlow assessment below. This is an assessment form for you to use to get to know your students. This assessment works best for secondary or college level courses.
I write about edtech in action, random tools I find, and reflections upon teaching and learning.