I’ve spent much of the day prepping for Thursday which will be my first day of school with students. I go back to work tomorrow for our Orientation and PD days before the kids arrive. I’ve got mixed emotions about going back this year, but I’ll fill you in on that after. I honestly don’t know where the summer went!
Anyhow, I’ve been trying to figure out which activities I’m going to start off with, and so I thought I’d share one of the things I’ll be doing on the first day of school.
I always like to have students do a student survey so that I can learn a bit more about them, straight away. In addition to that, I also like to have students do a Multiple Intelligence (MI) Inventory and a VAK (Visual-Auditory-Kinestheic) Inventory so that their learning strengths are identified early on. Learning preferrences and styles, also happen to be a part of our grade 7 Health curriculum, which is a bonus.
I found a great MI Inventory to use this year! There are various versions of it, but the link I provided is the PDF version. The home site has tons of knowledge quizzes and a VAK Inventory, as well. There are also awesome inventories in Start Where They Are: Differentiating for Success with the Young Adolescent (with CD-ROM) by Karen Hume (I know that I’ve mentioned this book before and I’ll mention it again – it’s just that good) if your school happens to have it. I’ll be using her VAK inventory from the book.
Starting with these quick little inventories gives me some insight into the types of learners I have in my room. This year I’m pairing the inventories up with my “A Piece of Who I Am” activity (a visual “get-to-know-you” activity) asking students to include their learning strengths on their puzzle pieces.
Another plus for me, is when a student inevitably asks why students are doing different work (students on IEPs are doing “easier work”) I can go back to the inventories that we did on the first day. “Remember how we all learn differently and we all have unique strengths? Students do different work, because I am trying to reach everyone in a way that they learn best, and I’m doing the same for you.” Usually, this satisfies these inquisitive students and they seem to understand.
The first day butterflies are setting in already! This year is slightly tramatic for me, as I’m also taking my four year old with me to start Kindergarten, hence the mixed emotions. On that note, I’d like to share something that my mother-in-law posted on my Facebook page that had me in tears. I don’t know the original source – sorry! But, I do know that it had me sobbing. It’s everything I’ve been thinking, while I anxiously anticipate sending my little boy into the big bad world. To all of you mothers out there, perhaps you can understand…