It is the time of year again when 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.
Use the files in Wixie's Curriculum and Templates libraries to help these young learners become comfortable with the purpose and rules of school and build communication skills.
School or Home? Whole Class Activity
The Home or School? activity 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 by 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 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 a 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, students choose items they should put in their backpack for school.
If students are new to using technology and Wixie, project this file in the front of your room 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 What Should I Take to School? Then, show students how to log in to Wixie, select this assignment from the top of their Wixie home page and use the mouse to drag 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 of a challenge, encourage them to use the Image button to find additional items they might add to their backpack. They can also use the Record button on the tools panel 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.
All About Me - Individual
Empower your students and build confidence communicating with technology by immediately asking them to create with it! Wixie's Template library includes a range of All About Me templates you can assign.
Assign the Profile Image file to have students learn how to use the paint tools and create their own unique profile image.
Assign the All About My Family file to have students learn how to use the paint tools to create a picture of their family and add stickers from the image library to show the activities they do at home.
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 Primary.
Have a great school year creating
No matter how you do these activities - whole group, individually, or in small groups - having discussions like these during the first week of school sets expectations and helps students learn to find their voice in a comfortable setting.
When students feel comfortable sharing ideas and thinking, they are more likely to communicate and share in future classroom discussions!