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Monday, January 19, 2015

Getting to Know Students the Easy Way

A new semester means new faces and new names. What are some favorite activities and strategies to match faces with names? First, try Find Someone Who...Bingo to get students to engage with one another:

Elementary Edition

College Edition

Another great activity is comprehension postcards! Take any postcards, write introductory questions on the back, then cut in half using different patterned scissors. Pass out the separate pieces to students and ask them to find the other half of the postcard. Have students discuss their question that is on the back of the postcard then introduce their partners answers during whole group discussion. 

A favorite activity for getting to know students is the notecard method. Use a regular size notecard and ask students to record their: 

Email (working and you check it)
Phone (working)
What other courses are you enrolled in?
Is there anything your instructor should know?

Collect the notecards and when class is close to over position yourself by the exit door. As students leave the room, match the notecard with the face and name. Make a point to say each student's name and talk about one item that is listed on the notecard, such as a hobby or other courses enrolled in. This helps build face and name recognition. 

There are lots of fun other get-to-know-students activities, such as Personality College and Rock Star Name that can be downloaded. 

One final option is to print a class roster that includes students' names and their pictures, such as through Peoplesoft or WebAdvisor. These software programs are time savers when getting new students each semester!

Good luck on matching faces and names at the start of a new semester!

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