When you were student do you remember the first day of school. The excitement of seeing your friends, meeting your new teachers, the magical smell of books that had never been used and were a blank canvas, just waiting for you. Then disappointment when a teacher would say – write about what you did on your holidays! As teachers we know the importance of those first few days. Learning about our students, letting them know about us, building relationships and setting the scene for the year. We need something much more exciting, engaging and open ended than the traditional essay about the holidays. As Alan November wrote, we need “to set the tone for powerful, engaging and self-directed learning”.
Here are a few alternatives using free Web 2 tools that you and your students could use to provide opportunities for creativity and for students to share their stories with their classmates and you.
SURVEY students about they interests, skills, goals, hobbies, expertise they could share with classmates or what they would like to learn during the year using Google Docs or Survey Monkey
An iMOVIE Trailer about their hopes or goals for the year
Students could use ANIMOTO to make a short movie about the famous thing they will do, or great achievement they will make in the future.
BLABBERIIZE would be a great way for students to share the most amazing moment of their holiday