Engage students on the first day of class by introducing yourself and the course objectives, creating activities that allow students to interact with each other, and fostering a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment.
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Engaging students on the first day of class is crucial for setting the tone for the rest of the semester. Here are some tips for making the first day a success:
Introduce yourself and the course objectives: Start by introducing yourself, your background, and your teaching philosophy. Then, explain what students can expect to learn in the course and what their responsibilities will be. This helps set expectations and gets students excited about the class.
Create activities that allow students to interact with each other: Icebreakers and group activities are a great way to get students talking to each other and build a sense of community. Some examples of activities include:
“Two Truths and a Lie”: Each student shares three statements about themselves, but one must be a lie. The rest of the class guesses which one is the lie.
“Human Bingo”: Create bingo cards with fun facts about students, such as “Has traveled to another country” or “Has a pet.” Students have to find classmates who fit the criteria and get them to sign their bingo card.
Foster a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment: Students learn best when they feel comfortable and supported. Make sure to set ground rules about respect and inclusivity, and let students know that you are there to help them succeed. A quote from Maya Angelou is relevant here: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Table: Icebreakers and Group Activities
|Name of Activity||Objective||Materials Needed|
|Two Truths and a Lie||Get to know classmates||None|
|Human Bingo||Find classmates with similar interests||Bingo cards, pens|
|Speed Dating||Get to know multiple classmates||Chairs, timer|
- A study found that students who participated in an orientation where they interacted with their peers performed better academically than those who did not.
- Icebreakers are not just for the first day of class! They can be used throughout the semester to help students feel more comfortable and engaged.
- Many students feel nervous on the first day of class, so it’s important to create a supportive environment that puts them at ease.
Answer in the video
The YouTube video “FIRST DAY OF CLASS TEACHER INTRODUCTION ACTIVITIES, TIPS, CREATIVE WAYS AND IDEAS 2021” shares tips and creative ways for teachers to introduce themselves to their students on the first day of class. Teacher K emphasizes balancing fun with maintaining order while building rapport and authority, and suggests key questions to guide teachers’ introduction speeches. Dressing professionally, organizing the classroom, and arriving early can also communicate approachability and organization. The video suggests five creative ways to introduce oneself, including a quiz game, a Bitmoji virtual classroom, a video, a name map, or a Google Slides game. These activities can make the first day of class exciting and rewarding for both teachers and students.
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Engage Students in Active Learning
- Ask students to read a short excerpt of text and analyze or discuss it in small groups.
- Provide students with a problem and ask them to solve it.
- Give students a short case study and ask them to map how they would approach it.
Introduce and Engage Students
- Use an ice breaker. As the expression connotes, an ice breaker warms up a group and gets conversation flowing.
- Learn names. Addressing a student by their name contributes to their sense of belonging and readiness to learn.
- Conduct a group norm-setting process.
- Create a climate for learning.
- Get students talking.
Surely you will be interested
- Orchestrate positive first impressions.
- Introduce yourself effectively.
- Clarify learning objectives and expectations.
- Help students learn about each other.
- Set the tone for the course.
- Collect baseline data on students’ knowledge and motivation.
- Greet every student warmly.
- Use a seating chart, at least for the first week or so.
- Save the rules for the second day.
- Don’t be afraid to share something about yourself.
- Post the daily schedule as prominently as possible.
- Explain the space.
- Find a good ice-breaking activity.
- Be Early.
- Shake Hands.
- Have Students Meet.
- Social Ice Breakers.
- Attention Grabber.
- Make a real beginning to class.