Explore these 15 back-to-school ideas for getting to know your students with Wixie. Wixie works online, so these ideas are great ways to connect to and between students for back-to-school if you are teaching face-to-face, remotely, or in a hybrid environment.
1. Paint a custom profile image
Have students use the Wixie paint tools to create a custom profile image for their Wixie account. Search “profile” at your Wixie home page for a Profile Image template you can assign to students. When they are done painting, they can simply go to the Edit menu and choose Make Profile Image.
This also makes it easy to distinguish between students when you are viewing projects in your class list in Wixie.
2. Design an all about me table tent
The Wixie Help includes a Table Tent tutorial. Have students follow the directions to paint and label a picture and add their name and images to show their interests. Print work as a table tent to put on desks at school or make home learning feel more like being in class at school.
3. Enter a digital photo booth
Use the Photobooth template in Wixie to have students capture their image and add props that tell you about their interests and passions.
4. Write “who am I?” riddles
Search “riddle” in Wixie for a fun way for students to introduce themselves. If you are learning face-to-face, you can print the one-page template, mix them up, and have students interview classmates to solve the riddle.
If you are learning remotely, the two-page sample has students write clues on page one and introduce themselves using video one page two. This makes it easy to combine into a single file and share with the entire class so they can get to know each other.
5. Design the perfect backpack
Students usually spend a lot of time finding the perfect backpack in the fall. Since they may not have even gotten to purchase a new backpack this year, have them design their own to give you a sense of their personality and style. Search “backpack” at your Wixie homepage to find a coloring template.
6. Customize a student ID
Search “identity” in Wixie for several templates you can use to get to know student’s interests or share their superpowers. The portrait orientation works great for students who want to create a digital-age badge with embedded video!
7. Make math about me projects
From simple definitions, like how many pets, to making your age 3 ways, kick off your year by having students "play" with numbers to share information about themselves. Browse Templates>All About Me to find a template you can assign or have students open on their own.
8. Use empathy
Have students interview a classmate to learn more about them. Then, challenge them to interpret what they learned by creating an empathy map that shows what they think this student sees, hears, thinks, and feels. Search “empathy” to assign a template from Wixie’s social-emotional library.
9. Character traits
Get students familiar using a cluster or character trait organizer by using one to share information about themselves for back-to-school. Search “traits” or “cluster” to assign to students or show them how to open a template on their own with a similar search at their Wixie home page. You can even challenge older students to find words and phrases that begin with the same letter as their name.
10. Craft a bio poem
Kick off the year with poetry and get to know your students by asking them to write and illustrate a bio poem. The Wixie Templates All About Me folder includes a bio poem, but you can also search “poetry” at the Wixie home page for templates for a range of poetic forms.
11. Set Goals
Teaching students how to set goals, leads them to believe in themselves (confidence) and their own power to take actions that influence their lives (agency), supporting their social-emotional learning and growth. Use Wixie to write down, and commit to, goals for the school year. Search “goals” for a range of template options, including SMART goals!
12. Design a Vision board
Have students design a vision board to visualize their goals with photos, clip art, words and phrases. Search "vision" or "SEL" at your Wixie homepage and then print or add to your device’s lock screen for a daily mind and motivation boost.
13. Dispel the myths with fact vs. opinion
We make lots of assumptions about others. Use the Fact vs. Opinion file in the Templates>All About Me folder to have students share information about themselves that others may not have realized before and empower students in letting themselves be known.
14. Adapt your favorite book
Pattern stories are not only fun ways to support emerging readers and burgeoning writers, but you can also adapt the patterns in them to have students share information about themselves. For example, read Mary Wore Her Red Dress by Merle Peek or listen to the original folk song. Ask students to draw pictures of themselves and write a sentence using a similar pattern to describe something they love doing.
In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming also makes for a fun all about me adaptation. Search "fleming" at your Wixie homepage for a template with an “In the tall, tall grass” sentence starter or craft your own version. Perfect for emerging writers and inventive spelling.
15. Write a collaborative story
You can use Wixie’s team feature to have students collaborate from day one. Read Five Creatures by Emily Jenkins to show students a fun way to compare and contrast features of a group. In this story, a young girl describes the five creatures in her family, comparing them differently on each page.
For back-to-school, create teams of five students and have them work together to write their own Five Creatures story as they get to know each other by comparing their similarities and differences and sharing the data.
No matter what you choose for your back-to-school project, getting to know your students helps you know your learners, establishing powerful foundations for successful differentiation.