Getting to Know You....

Since I teach on the block schedule, I start over every semester. If you read my "Ringing in the (Teacher) New Year" post, then you know that my goal is always to learn my students' names by the end of the first day. It's great for classroom management but also a lot of fun to see the looks on their faces when I greet them by name in the halls ;). A bit disconcerting for them.

Another fun thing? Having them write a narrative about what they expect to get out of the class and about what their preferred learning style is. I get all kinds of interesting answers. Take a look at this one from a tenth grader:

If you're a secondary teacher, then you likely meet new students at the start of every semester. Therefore, you're playing the get to know you games quite often! I'm explaining my favorite first-week activity for my Sociology class in this blog post, so click through to read more.

Challenge accepted, ma'am!

But my favorite class by far in the first week of the term is Sociology. Mostly seniors take it at my school, and it's an elective, so it's prime real estate for a lot of fun.

One activity I like to do in the first week deals with the concept of the Looking-Glass-Self. Students get to be all touchy-feel-y and really think about their self-concept and where it comes from. I use clips from Saturday Night Live--Tina Fey portraying Sarah Palin--to get the point across. The Looking-Glass-Self deals with how we develop our self-concepts:

1. We imagine how we must appear to others. 
2. We imagine the judgment of that appearance.
3. We develop our self through the judgments of others.


We discuss, reflect, and create. Here are my students making "Looking-Glass-Self Collages":


If you're a secondary teacher, then you likely meet new students at the start of every semester. Therefore, you're playing the get to know you games quite often! I'm explaining my favorite first-week activity for my Sociology class in this blog post, so click through to read more.




One thing that is so valuable about this activity is the foldable. Students write a paragraph about how they think others see them, and a partner writes a paragraph about how they actually see them (with strict parameters, of course). What I absolutely LOVE is when a student says something to the effect of, "I feel like I come across as a very weak person." And the partner says, "She comes across as very strong and confident."Or, "I think people see me as unintelligent," and the partner says, "He seems very smart."

So this is a fantastic activity when implemented with care. It's definitely not something I'd leave for a sub, but with proper guidance, it's a really good tool for getting students to reflect--and learn about the Looking-Glass-Self, of course :). You can get the handouts, film links, and lesson plans here:


The Looking-Glass Self: A Lesson in Self-Awareness
Get the Entire Lesson Here!

My Fabulous Freebie Find this week is similarly reflective with an element of fun. Rachel Lynette has created a "Would You Rather for Kids" activity that encourages students to consider which option they would choose in various situations. It's perfect if you have a few minutes to spare at the end of the block. I tried a few of the questions with Poll Everywhere, and my students loved it!
Would You Rather Questions for Kids
Grab it for free HERE!

How do you encourage your students to be more reflective? Leave a comment below to let me know. And be sure to come back next Monday to find out What's New in Secondary English and Social Studies.

Until then,
Leah



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