Student Interest Inventory
To be an effective teacher you must first learn your students BEFORE you teach! Before you get into your first unit of content and before you dive into your first task on your pacing guide, it’s critical to get to know your class. In fact, I would say the success of your year depends on it! I know what you may be thinking… “I have so much to cover and 180 days is rarely enough to do it all.” Well, the only way that you will get to everything you want to cover is if you have a positive class climate (aka good classroom management) and high levels of engagement. You can do this by getting to know your students, building a strong community, and using what you know about them to create rock star experiences!
The very first step in all of this is to make your students and their family welcome and then learn as much as you can about them. If you need ideas to make students and parents feel welcome, head on over to my post that has some printable welcoming resources that are ready for you to print and use. I used each of these things with my families and students at the beginning of the year and it was always a hit!
Once you welcome students and their parents as a part of the class, it’s time to dig a little deeper getting to know every individual. I started this process with what I call an Interest Inventory.
Using this form that I created, you can learn a lot about the children that can ultimately be used during your planning and throughout the year. I have done my Interest Inventory two ways. I have sent it home for the students to fill out with their parents as homework and I have also conducted interviews with the students at recess. Once you get this information, learning your students and building relationships with them is an ongoing process. Be sure to have formal activities to get to know them and informal experiences as well.
If you take time to do these things, your classroom with have a positive class climate that can be felt by anyone who visits and it will make teaching much more enjoyable! Do you have a great “get to know you” activity or method you use? I would love to hear about it and share with other EEs. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I’ll be waiting! 😉
Great way of breaking the ice. In a way, it shows the students you’re vested in them.
Keep the fire burning with your great information and tips for the educators!
Thanks Bruce! 🙂
Student interest and instruction are closely linked. Student interest greatly influences learning engagement and the students’ ability to connect to new ideas. Students are more likely to be engaged if the instruction taps into or connects to their interests.
Yes! This is so true!