Questions to Ask Students on the First Day of School
Interests and Favorites
- One of the first questions teachers might want to ask each student is: What are your interests? Have the children explain some of the topics they enjoy learning about; this can be useful in developing curriculum projects. You might ask such a question during a circle time, allowing each student to introduce herself and talk about her interests or favorite subjects. You can ask for specific information, such as a favorite food, color, school subject or outdoor activity. Allowing children to share information about themselves on the first day of school is critical to building a classroom community. Children get to know one another and find out things they have in common, which can lead to potential friendships. Students also get undivided attention, which helps them feel important in their class.
- Offer each student a conference time in which she can express concerns and ask questions.Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
Ask students one by one about any fears they may have about this new grade level or classroom. Children benefit immensely from having direct, one-on-one communication with the teacher right from the start, and typically appreciate the chance to express their concerns. Some may not want to admit they are nervous, but this conversation offers a teacher time to reassure students and help ease anxiety. Often children are worried about things that can be easily explained by the teacher. The question also gives students a chance to reveal subject areas that are hardest for them.
- Information on individual learning styles can help you set up your classroom in ways that work for your specific students.Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
No group of students is exactly the same; children learn in different ways. Understanding how each student learns best can be invaluable to a teacher, help you differentiate your instruction and tailor lessons to students' individual needs. Find out which students are auditory, visual, or tactile learners to help you create the most effective resources and find the best tools and materials. For example, you might discover that posters and charts will help some students understand new math concepts better, while manipulatives will work better for others. You will be able to plan particular activities for certain students, and you will know which children to group together when necessary.