As students enter the upper elementary grades, they start to groan a little bit more about school. Not a lot, but the end of the school year was all about testing, then the summer was fun, and now they are back to school. We have to get to know the students, set the classroom expectations, and make it engaging so they realize that school is more than a bubble test.
You can use Wixie for activities that will both help you get to know your intermediate students and help them take ownership of their growth and learning.
It is still helpful to do "getting-to-know" you activities as students get older. Combine higher expectations for writing and thinking with the Bio Poem template. Start by having student type text in blank text boxes, and the edit to add more text to the lines of the poem. After they have thought through how they will answer each line, show them how to add images from the Library to support the content of their poem.
If student devices have web cams, have them capture their image to add to the page. Wixie will ask for permission to use the web cam, but if students also click the "Always" check box, you will only have to do this one time. You can also have them use the record feature (Options panel for the page) and read the text of their poem or share additional information about themselves. This will also ensure that Wixie can record from the device's microphone.
While you can always assign the bio poem to your students, students can also open it from their student home page by opening the Templates Library at their Wixie home page, opening the All About Me folder, and selecting the Bio Poem template.
Asking students to open the template on their own is a great way to let them know that they are also responsible for their learning. Once they know how to open a file from the Curriculum or Templates libraries, they can repeat this process to find things like graphic organizers to support research and other thinking projects.
About Me: Fact and Opinion
The All About Me folder in the Templates also includes an entire folder dedicated to All About me activities.
For fourth and fifth grade, Wixie Integration Specialist Danielle Abernethy suggests using the one with a Fact and Opinion focus. When students have been going to the same school for the past five years or more with the same group of students, they start to develop opinions and often share those opinions with classmates. "I like this activity because it offers students a chance to share information about themselves that others may not have realized before," she shares. "This activity can help them set the record straight and empower the students in letting themselves be known."
The first page of the activity asks students to capture their image from a web cam, glue it down and erase half of it so they can draw the other half. As an alternative, leave the entire picture intact, but use the paint tools and stickers to modify.
Start your year off right, by making it clear to students that you have high expectations for their work and effort during the school year. Follow-up those expectations by asking students to set personal goals for the year.
Students can simply use the New button to create a blank page they can use to write down their goals. They can also search for the word "goals" in the field at the top of their Wixie home page to open a goal-setting template they want to use.
If you have heard the quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery (think The Little Prince), "A goal without a plan is just a wish" then you know your students likely need more than just a list to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. After students identify their goals, have them brainstorm specific actions they can take to achieve that goal.
It will also be helpful for them to learn how to write SMART goals (lesson plan). SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
For example, "get better at reading" is a great thing to wish for, but it isn't very helpful as a goal. It doesn't tell you what to do to attain it and it is awfully hard to tell when you have achieved it. Changing it to "read 10 books this year" gives students a specific goal with a time limit. For this student, it is also likely to help them get better at reading, by reading this amount.
Use the Wixie 101 and Lesson Ideas links at your Wixie home page to find even more back-to-school and first project resources and ideas, like this Back-to-School Guide for Elementary.
No matter what you choose, have a great year with Wixie!