New School Year!

A new school year is filled with excitement, a fresh start, new outfits, school supplies, and new experiences. Teachers have high hopes that their students will enter with a thirst to learn and teachers desire to quench that thirst through their instruction.

However, teaching isn’t as much about the content we teach as it as about our relationships with our students. Students need to sense their teacher is supportive, respectful and cares about them. When we focus on students and the unique talents each child brings into the classroom, we are better able to teach them. Of course, a teacher’s content knowledge and instructional skills are vitally important to gaining student respect and engagement. What are some ways to better understand our students? Ice-breaker activities at the start of the school year can help.

Here are some website with ideas that use technology: • 5 Engaging Digital Icebreakers for Back to School: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_toward_tomorrow/2014/08/5_engaging_digital_icebreakers.html • Cybraryman Icebreakers: http://cybraryman.com/icebreakers.html • Techbytes 21st Century Icebreakers: http://teachbytes.com/2012/08/05/21st-century-icebreakers-10-ways-to-get-to-know-your-students-with-technology/ • Techy icebreakers for the 21st Century: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/04/10-techy-icebreakers-for-21st-century.html

Get to know your students! After all, kids don’t always remember what you teach them but they will always remember how we treat them.

About the Author : Wendy Haskell is the Director of Technology and Libraries for the Falmouth Public Schools and President of MassCUE.

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