Get to Know You Activities are a great activity to use at the beginning of the school year. They are an easy way to Get to Know your new students and re-learn or find out new things about your students from last year. Here is a list of some Get to Know YouActivities for back to school with preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school students.
- My Get to Know You Worksheets you can find here come with 22 pages! This is a great resource that you can keep filed away for every school year. A bonus is the Get to Know you Worksheets are now available in a digital version making it useful especially for teletherapy options.
- Play a couple of rounds of “My Favorite ___ is ____”. You call out a category, “Ice Cream!” then each person uses the sentence template and replies with their favorite then the next person in the circle picks a category.
- Do a craft with your students’ names. Involve basic concepts like colors, shapes, sizes, and spatial concepts. This is helpful in gathering some baseline data on their language abilities.
- My Get to Know You Worksheets would be great for this age. They are here with over 22 pages of options. You could use the worksheets for several sessions. If coloring and writing got boring, you could use playdough or dry erase markers– just slide the worksheets into a plastic sleeve.
- Read a book together like Pete the Kitty’s First Day of School or School’s First Day of School. These types of books are almost like social stories and provide opportunities for social-emotional language.
- No prep? Play “The Night Before School, I Packed ____ in my Backpack!’ Go around your small group of students and each of you add something that follows the alphabet then have the chain grow and grow and grow. This is a fun working memory game. The game could go like: The Night Before School, I Packed an apple in my Backpack… The Night Before School… I Packed an apple and a baseball in my Backpack… The Night Before School, I Packed an apple, a baseball, and a cat in my Backpack… and so on! Use paper clips for tactile reinforcement to see how long your “chain” goes!
Middle School and Junior High
- Not to sound like a broken record, but the Get to Know You Worksheets linked here would also be useful for this age. Especially the last 4 pages that are less coloring, but more writing like Give me the Details page, My Speech Plan Page, and My Favorites Page.
- Minute to Win It Games are a perfect way to move, laugh, and get to know your student. The Minute to Win it game linked here is so fun! There are 11 activities listed and you just a handful of materials that I bet you have on hand.
- Evidence shows us that pre-teens and teens learn the best through interaction and hands-on activities providing opportunities of kinesthetic learning for Get to Know You Activities like: providing materials to decorate their planners, taking a short walk together outside and chatting, walking through their class schedule and pointing out similarities of others who might have the same classes in the group, etc.
- The last few pages of the Get to Know you Worksheets would be great for high school. Especially the This Year in Speech and My Speech Plan Page. These pages will help both your student and your to identify their personal goals in speech therapy and academically. The worksheets ask questions like, “What is your most difficult subject?”, “I learn best by ____.” and “I still need help with ____”.
- Have each student in your group pick out their current favorite song and listen to a few seconds of it!
- Older students, especially those who attend primary regular education classes, could benefit from writing down some of their objectives in their school planners. This way they can take ownership in their goals.
- Gather baseline data during these sessions. This would be a great way to see if your students have regressed over the summer or if they have truly met that goal you both worked so hard on last year.
- Note any helpful information and save it in your records. Things like: student noted he lives in a single parent home, grandmother is primary caregiver, etc.
- Fill out the worksheets and complete the activities alongside your students! This lets them get to know you which is important in building and maintaining rapport.
- Keep it simple! There’s nothing wrong with a small group round table discussion on similarities and differences. What a great way to make a connection between you and your student!
How do you get to know your students at the beginning of the school year?
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