I don't know how your first day is...mine is CHAOTIC. Students are always switched out or moved in, or just added late. I really feel like I don't want to teach anything day one because I'll have to re-teach it for the following week.
Technology is usually working on the first day, so I have an Kahoot activity with my students for information on me. Students LOVE it. However, this year I taught summer school. I had no tech, no class list and had just moved into the classroom. Of course!
I wanted to get an idea of how my students were as far as writing level. This was a remedial English class, so I just wanted to know if they could write a sentence.
As such, I brought back an OLD ESL activity. "ABCs of Me" and threw it into a Snow Ball fight .
In the end this activity was such:
- Students write down the alphabet (one letter on each line of their paper) and try to write COMPLETE sentences with the letter.
- You can adjust this according to students' levels. For more advanced classes have each sentence connect (so the entire page would read like a paragraph or story). For lower levels, just have them focus on a word per letter (adjectives or nouns).
- I gave my students a few ways to do this. I let them write a word that starts with the letter and then the sentence, OR have the sentence start with the letter. I tell them NOT to use their name. I also walk around and help kids who are stuck on letters (or tell them to skip a letter)
- So, "A teacher is what I am." Good
- "Birthday: My birthday is in January" Good
- "Carissa is my name." Bad
- "Dad. My dad is a basketball coach." Good
- Make this fun! Play "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" or "The Eye of the Tiger" Students usually don't go too crazy with this, but if you notice they are targeting someone you may need to put a stop to it.
- I have them put their name at the bottom if they found the author, but the author should NOT write their name (yet), so you can play again!
- I like to play a few times. The last time they play the author write their name on the top and sits down with their paper.
Students are also eager to share because it isn't their information... they're sharing about their classmates. The pressure it way off.
It's an easy, no technology nor prep activity that students LOVE.
If you try it let me know how it goes.