Getting to Know You: Activities to Help Your Students Learn About One Another
Wed, Aug 18, 2021
The beginning of a new school year is an exciting yet often stressful time as SLPs work to determine caseloads and make schedules. While some of the students on your caseload might be from the year before, you might find that you have new students that you need to get to know. In addition, the students might come from different homerooms and need to get to know each other.
Because the beginning of the year can be hectic, I like to have some simple and fun activities available for the first session or two. I also take this time to informally assess my students’ articulation and language skills as they answer questions, read aloud, and engage in conversation. The activities described below are easy to prepare and allow us to establish rapport with each other.
Stand up or sit down —This activity is a commonly used way to get students moving during your first sessions. There are some free versions available online or you can make your own. I have a PowerPoint version I found on TeachersPayTeachers. Each PowerPoint slide has a statement such as “stand up if you play a sport, stand up if you have pets, stand up if you can do a cartwheel.” Read the statement to your students and have them stand or sit based on how they respond to the statement. Click here to find the free PowerPoint.
Guess the student — Have students write three or four fun facts about themselves on strips of paper. Put the strips of paper in a container and have students take turns pulling out one strip. After the student reads the fact, they try to guess who wrote it.
M&M Game — Candy is always a huge hit with students. Before starting, designate each color M&M with a specific topic (for example, red means talk about something you did over the summer; brown means name one of your favorite foods, blue means talk about a book you like to read). The prompts you choose can be modified based on the age or level of the students. Give each student four or five M&M’s or a fun-size M&M pack. The students then talk about the prompt that goes with the colors they have before they eat their candy. Substitute Skittles or any other colorful candy you might have on hand.
I hope these activities will help you learn about your students. You should also play along with your students so they can learn some fun facts about their SLP!