Students in second and third grade are moving away from their younger self-centered view of the world, but most still love to talk about themselves. At the beginning of the year they also have lots of new things to share: new school supplies, new friends from the summer, and maybe even new school clothes or shoes. Use this interest in sharing to get to know your students as human beings through All About Me introductory activities.
By doing these All About Me activities in Wixie, students have the opportunity to both talk about themselves and practice 21st century communication skills. You also end up creating a great collection of "getting-to-know-you" student information accessible from your Wixie teacher dashboard.
Here are some specific All About Me projects to kick off your year with Wixie.
Make an "all about me" table tent
The Wixie Training Tab at the teacher dashboard or Help system in the student application includes references and tutorials to help you learn and use Wixie. In the Level 1 tutorial, students create and label a picture of themselves and add a page of images to show their interests. The culmination of the tutorial is to print and fold a table tent to place on their desk.
I love that students can follow the step-by-step directions on their own and I can move around the room to talk, answer questions, and meet my learners. The Level One tutorial is written for new technology users at a 2nd grade reading level, so it should be accessible to most of your second- and third-grade learners.
If you have a more flexible setting than individual assigned desks, have students pick up their table tents at the door and put them wherever they are working each day. You can also share them on a bulletin board or use them to identify authors and designers in a classroom or school display case.
Write, illustrate, and publish an "all about me" book or eBook
If you are feeling ambitious, kick off the year with Wixie by having students create something beautiful they can share with their families. To balance content they already know with potentially new technology skills, I use the All About Me template that includes pages for:
- a picture of the student,
- a picture of their family,
- things they do at home,
- things they like,
- things they do not like,
- things they are good at, and
- things they hope for.
Remember, all of the Wixie Templates can be customized to fit your needs. I usually add a page or two to this template for things like: a favorite Book, their favorite subject, and/or favorite holidays.
Because this template is mostly just space for ideas, learners differentiate the content and process of building on their own. Struggling writers and early stage ELLs can share information with pictures and still be successful. Push them to add labels and record their voice to support the images. Advanced users and students with high linguistic ability tent to write a lot more, rather than use images.
As they work through the template, walk around the room and ask questions about their interests. If they are searching the library, you can also get a sense of their ability to both spell and complete Web searches.
If you have access to a color printer, print and bind the pages together to publish books you can share first in the classroom to get to know eachother and then to take home as a keepsake. If you want to keep a summary of your entire class's work, print each project at trading card size, bind them all together and placed the resulting book in the classroom library.
If most of your students have devices at home, you can send the file from Wixie as an ePub. Then, email them home or add them to a Google Drive or DropBox so students can add them to their tablets for practice reading at home.
No matter what you choose to do, the important thing is getting the students back into the swing of school and getting to know them personally for a successful year.