There is so much to cover in the 180 days of school, so it is helpful to kick off the first week back to school with projects that benefit students socially, help you as a teacher get to know your learners, and introduce students to the tools (like Wixie!) available to them in the classroom.
One of my "go-to" first activities in Wixie is the All About Me trading card. It not only lets me learn about my students, it gives the students a chance to learn to type text and add text boxes, add an image from their web cam and explore the stickers.
Students can open the trading card activity from the Templates folder in the folder list on the left side of their Wixie home page. To access the All About Me trading card, they simply open the General folder and open the All About Me folder.
Make an About Me trading card for yourself to introduce yourself to your students and provide a high-quality example of the work you expect.
Trading cards are meant to be swapped, so if you have access to a printer, have students go to the File menu and choose Print. At the print dialog, they should check the Repeat Page box and choose Trading Cards to print nine copies of their card on one sheet of paper.
Have students cut out their cards and trade with their classmates so they can learn their names and things that might be useful about the classmates. Store the collected cards in old Altoid® tins or the binder sleeves designed for storing business or sport cards.
If you don't have a printer, collect all of the completed cards into one file so you can more easily share them. You can ask students to come up and read the information on their card to begin practicing oral presentation skills. You could also project them when students are coming into your classroom to foster additional connections between students.
Here are a few more ways you can utilize the About Me - Trading Card activity in your classroom.
Teacher Seating Chart/Substitute Information
It isn't easy being a substitute. If your class gets a bit more rowdy when you aren't around, share a complete set of your class trading cards with your substitute. This will help them make connections to your learners and if you organize according to your seating chart, you can avoid students moving to sit by friends for the day.
Keep a set of the completed cards on an O-Ring by your classroom door so you can take them with you during emergency drills. If a child is missing (perhaps they were in the bathroom or library), you have a way of identifying the child better than a verbal description, which is much more useful to to administrators and emergency personnel.
For safety reasons, many schools no longer allow students to wear name tags on field trips. To help chaperones who don't know all of your students, share the trading cards for the students in their group. With a student's name, picture, and a bit of personal information, the chaperones can better identify and connect with the students in their care.
Moving Beyond All About Me
Once students learn how to add text, images, and photos to trading cards, apply the trading card idea to other content-based projects. For example, you can ask students to create trading cards about characters in the books they are reading, or people from the time periods they are studying in history.
And don't limit yourself to people, students can also make trading cards for landmarks and state symbols, flash cards for math facts, and even create their own card game!