I love my PLN because not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new that I can then pass on in the hopes of having an impact on all students. Yesterday, I read this tweet from @GaryRGrayJr:
In my 20 years of teaching, learning who my students were as people was always my first order of business and a big part of that was learning how to pronounce and spell their names. For me, when someone spells and pronounces my name correctly, it shows an intentionality to attend to me as a person. That is least that kids deserve from us. My first thought about this tweet was that a teacher can create a collaborative slide show in which students can personalize a slide with information they feel comfortable enough to share.
Two of my favorite colleagues Lizzie Fortin and Lisa Leach also added ideas about how students can share their name pronunciations and interests with their new teachers. This twitter thread inspired me to create an Interactive Introductions template! I included sections for students to type their name, insert the audio of its pronunciation, tell about themselves, insert a video of their “Walk-on Song”, a picture of themselves, and a space to add a favorite quote.
Using this Google Slide template, teachers can modify the sections or simply File>Make a Copy and share with students to complete. To do this, click here and select “Use Template”. Click on Slide 2 in the preview list on the left and Control+C to copy. Create a new slide deck and Control+V to paste the template. Paste enough times that each student will have a copy to personalize.
Not all students will have the same needs and comfort when sharing, so offering options will ensure that each student is seen and heard. Consider:
- Allowing students to modify the sections to reflect what they want to share or fill in only what they are comfortable with.
- Giving students the option to copy a blank slide and complete it as a private submission.
- Encouraging students to respond to one another with thoughts and questions using the Insert>Comment option in Google Slides.
- Making this a work-in-progress and have students’ slides grow and change over the school year.
This is just one way to have students get to know each other and for you to get to know their names, pronunciations, interests, etc. If you have other engaging ways to do this, I would love to hear about them!