It is the time of year again where we begin gearing up for the new school year. For our youngest students, this may be their first opportunity to socialize outside their family and they may have anxieties over making new friends and learning new routines and rules. You can use two Wixie activities in the September folder of the Month-by-Month Activities to help these young learners become comfortable with the purpose and rules of school.
School or Home? Whole Class Activity
The Home or School? activity found in Templates folder at the Wixie home page (browse Month by Month>September) is designed to foster discussion about items students will find and use at school versus items that are more appropriate at home. It is also a great way to start the year thinking and comparing with a Venn diagram.
Project this activity onto a screen or interactive smart board. Explain how a Venn diagram works and ask students to look at the items around the outside of it. Which items are appropriate for school? Which ones are appropriate at home? Which items can be used in both places?
Select a single item and talk about whether it students will use it at home or school or both. Ask for a student volunteer to choose the next item and drag it into the proper position. Talk about it together.
When all of the items have been placed, print and display the diagram in the classroom as as reminder. You can even print a copy to send home with students to foster discussions with their parents.
Pack Your Backpack. Individual or Station Activity
In the What Should I Take to School? activity (also in Templates>Month-by-Month>September) students choose items they should put in their backpack for school. How you use this will depend on students experience with Wixie and their access to technology devices.
If you are all new to using technology and Wixie, project this activity on the screen or whiteboard again and use it to practice the skills learned during the Venn diagram activity.
If you want to get students using Wixie on their own right away, assign this drag-and-drop activity to each of them to get them acquainted with logging in to Wixie, opening a file, and using the mouse to move objects.
If you have first graders who used Wixie as Kindergartners, have them first complete the activity on their own and then take responsibility for helping others.
If students are ready for more challenge, encourage them to use the Image button to find addition items they might add to their backpack. They can also use the Record button on the tools to record the names of the items they have added.
If you have a small group of students who have used Wixie, but it is new to others, assign it to the experienced users and pair them up with one or two other classmates to complete the activity together during station rotations or center time.
No matter how you do these activities - whole group, individually, or in small-groups - having discussions like these the first week of school sets expectations and helps students learn to find their voice in a comfortable setting. When students feel comfortable to share ideas and thinking, they are more likely to communicate and share in future classroom discussions!