Back to School: Student Introductions

If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.



Since I'm the fifth grade STEM teacher at my school, it falls on me to be sure students have been taught the school and grade level expectations for technology use. My favorite way to do this is by giving students a reason for learning these rules - so they can use the iPads to create their own interactive image.

On the very first day of school, I introduced myself by sharing an interactive image that I created and uploaded to my school district webpage. Students were chomping at the bit to choose which item to click on so they could learn more about me. I had them at full attention the entire class period. So much better than just standing there and telling them some random details while they dozed off in class. try it out. Simply move your mouse to hover over or touch the tags on the image and read some details about me.
If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
After sharing my interactive image, I casually tell the students they have homework due the next day. This usually startles them since it's the first day of school and no teacher in their right mind would assign homework on the first day of school. Lucky for them, I'm half crazy. HA!
If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
So students are given the night to gather some items that represent who they are. I make a BIG deal about being creative and thinking outside the box. It's really pretty cool what they come up with. When they bring everything in the next day, I review the technology rules and demonstrate how to use the ThingLink app. Then they get to work.
If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
If you've never used ThingLink, you're in for a treat. It's such a fun and simple way to get students working with technology and has soooooo many applications in the classroom. I like to introduce ThingLink to students early on since it is a pretty user friendly app that they tend to enjoy using.

Other than logging in - because they tend to mistype their passwords - things run pretty smoothly. Students work together without me even telling them to. They collaborate and assist each other with taking photos and navigating the app. I spend most of my time trying to memorize their names and faces. It's only the second day of school, after all!

If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
After they upload their image to the group channel, they are THRILLED to start looking at the other students' images. I hear comments about how they have something in common with another student and they start looking around the room to see where that person is. Again, I don't really even need to encourage them to do this. It's natural curiousity that drives them to read more and more. I've even had students go back and edit their original image after they read something posted by another student. They WANT to make theirs more interesting to others who might visit.
If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.

If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
Grab a copy of this activity by clicking on the image below.
If you're like me, you struggle to find a way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year while teaching a myriad of rules and procedures. This activity has been a success in my classroom every time I use it! Students are engaged and excited about learning about each other while practicing important technology classroom procedures.
You might also like to check out this simple tutorial about how to make a ThingLink interactive image of your own.

AAAAAAAND...
This board on Pinterest has some of the most FABULOUS ideas for integrating technology into the classroom using ThingLink.

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