07 August 2014

Back to School: Getting to Know Your Students

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be a part of The Primary Chalkboard! This is such a wonderful group of teacher bloggers and I am so honored to be a part of it.

I know we all have Back to School on the brain, even though some of us don't actually go back for another month. August is always the beginning of the end of summer, which is actually crazy to say because I actually have almost half a summer left. You know what I mean though! We're thinking, we're creating, we're organizing, and yep, we're dreaming about it too. So why fight it? :)

Something that is so important to me is getting to know my students and making that connection with them. I always feel like once I've made that connection, everything else falls into place. So today I have two little ideas to share with you all about how you could get to know your students.

The first one I recently created. I have to admit, I made this as a parent. Yes, I always want to get to know my students, but now that I have one going into kindergarten, I have a whole new perspective. My son is a little shy but has a lot to say if you take the time to listen and get him comfortable. He's just not that kid that's going to be chatty right away.  I was thinking about how I hope his teacher takes the time to chat with him at recess or during down times because it would be a game changer for him. He would just blossom in class if he developed that relationship sooner rather than later. If only she knew to ask him about space, or swim lessons, or sea creatures, or dragonflies. So then it got me thinking... if I feel like this, maybe other parents do to. That is the inspiration for this first get-to-know-you idea.

It's just is a simple half-page that goes home with parents or that you can have out on desks during Meet the Teacher/Supply Night. It should only take them a second because they only have to write one(ish) word.  Parents will write something that their child loves to talk about. Anything that will get them chatty. You've probably seen it, right? The moment when you've finally said something that a quieter student wants to talk about.  They just light up. Simple, but hopefully effective. :)

The next thing is a little more generic, but it has been a staple in my classroom for all the years that I've been teaching. I finally took the time to redo it in PowerPoint and cutesify it with clip art and fonts. Oh my, the one I've used for almost a decade has (EEK) Comic Sans and no clip art. Not pretty my friends. Yikes! Don't worry, I've remedied that and it's ready to share with you all. I seriously use this throughout the WHOLE year.

I send this home on the first day for the parents to fill out. BUT it doesn't end there! 

How to do you get to know your students? I'd love to hear more ideas! :)


  1. Awesome post!! Your parent survey is much cuter than the one I used when I taught second grade. Being a reading specialist, I don't send one home, but I will definitely share this post with the teachers in my building. Great ideas for actually using the surveys! I highlighted and revisited mine like you mentioned, but never thought to email parents with their comments in mind. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you Erin! Oh my goodness, you should have seen the hot mess that mine used to be though! Ha! Thanks for leaving me such a sweet comment. :)

  2. This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing your tip on how you use the information! I love the idea of sending parents an email!

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  4. What a great way to start building a positive relationship with both students and parents. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea.

  5. Hi Sarah! Great post! I read them periodically through the year, too!! I love the "get to know you postcard", too! Too cute and one I will put on desks this year! Thank you!!

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  7. This is so nice, thank you! Would you happen to have a Spanish copy for my spanish speaking parents?