Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Postcard Get To Know You Activity

This is one of my favorite lessons to do with my 6th graders at the beginning of the year. I have done it with middle school age children, high school students, small groups, and faculty at each of my schools- you really can't go wrong.

As students/teachers enter the room as I ask them to find a post card with a picture on it that describes how they feel about starting the new school year. I use clip art and random pictures I find and them print them on card stock- simply and free.

After students/teachers find a picture/post card they meet in small groups for 5-10 minutes and discuss why they choose their post card.   Here are some pictures I found on Pinterest that I think I will include on my postcards this year and some examples of what a student might say (I feel all of these starting the new year!)

corn corn corn corn corn I think I took too much on!

I Love Lucy Eh I am not so sure about this.......

 OMG......talk about jumping into the deep end.

fotografia Let's make memories!

Robin Sparkles #HowIMetYourMother I might have a case of senior-itis.

marathon I feel lost in a crowd. I am worried about the hallways being crowded and finding my way through the struggle.
Guidance is bliss. This year is going to be the best year ever.

After each student shares in their small groups  we ask for volunteers to share with the entire group. I like having them practice in small groups first, because it gives some the courage to speak in front of the entire class.

Next, they flip their postcard over and on the left side write down 5 goals they have for the school year- academic, personal/social, or career goals. They spend 5-10 minutes working individually on their goals. On the right they fill out the postcard with their home address. After this they again share in their small groups and then as a large group. It is a great way to share that not only are many of them feeling the same way, but also many have the same goals and can help each other reach those goals.

Last, at Christmas break or mid way through the year I mail the cards to the students. I write little  notes on them like "How are you doing reaching your goal? What can you change to reach your goal?" or "Keep it up and you will reach any goal you set for yourself." They are cheap to mail and worst case scenario you can leave them on their desks as a morning surprise.

*Warning, unless you are doing this with adults they won't know what are you talking about when you say postcard! Seriously I haven't met a class yet that knew what a postcard was or how to fill it out- no seriously. Take a deep "I'm old" breathe and walk them through it step by step. Also, one year I found my 6th graders didn't all know their address- so we had a little side step lesson on knowing important information and why that was important safety information. Then, I "tested" them by having them complete their cards the next time I visited ( I was shell shocked by the way).

So, share with us....find a picture and share you are feeling about this school year!

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