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Best Ways To Get To Know Your New Students

07/09/18

The new school year is here and this means you will probably meet a new group of students. Knowing students' names is a great way to start off  building relationships and knowing their strengths will help with achieving great academic results. Here are Bianca's tips for getting to know your students.

Getting to know your students’ names

As an educator, you could be teaching even one hundred or more students during the academic year. It is never easy to remember students’ names. However, getting them correct is important for a range of reasons including relationship building and creating a welcoming learning environment. To learn the names quickly with correct pronunciation, I begin the initial lesson by giving each student a piece of brightly coloured paper and introduce myself by putting my name on the board as shown in the image below.

I then ask students to write their names on the paper together with the phonetic transcription. Students then stick this piece of paper on their desk. This has proven very effective as it also assists the students in getting to know each others names.

Getting to know your students’ strengths

I prefer visual methods of teaching, so to assess the literacy, numeracy and visual strengths of my early Secondary students, I give them a special homework. The task requires the students to create a drawing in 1:1 scale of an object within their home. The object must be from a real life and must be able to fit on an A4 piece of paper. They can use any media they choose (students are advised to use media which they feel confident using) and the time frame for the task should be no longer then two and half hours. Students then write a one hundred word reflection on the strengths and weaknesses within the drawing. I then ask students to share their drawings with the class during the following lesson.

This is a quick way to learn a wide range of students' skills. Obviously it gives me an indication of their literacy (writing), numeracy (understanding of scale) and visual skills, but it also demonstrates who is a confident speaker and good communicator, who can efficiently complete and submit homework and who will need additional support. Again, this is another opportunity for students to get to know each other through communicating visually and verbally.

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