My Canvas Course has started now what !?!
Whether you are starting a class fresh at the being of the semester or taking over a class during the semester, establishing relationships with your students is one of the most important things to do for a fantastic learning environment. But remember, building and establishing relationships is continuous and happens all semester, not just at the start of the course. In this article, we will share some ways you can establish relationships with your students.
Why is building relationships important?
Building relationships with your students is important for many reasons! Building relationships can show your students that you support not only them in their education career but who they are as people, as well. When students feel supported they are more likely to engage positively in their learning environment.
Ways to establish relationships and build community.
Below are some different ways you can establish relationships with learners of all ages. Some have no prep and some have a little prep. All are activities you can continue to do throughout the semester with your classroom community.
- Personal Crest- Students can complete this digitally or in hard copy (and upload a picture). Students can fill out each box with things that are important to them, then you can have each student choose one or all of their choices and explain it to the class.
- Would You Rather-Would you rather is a great game for all age levels. Ask the class two comparative questions and make sure they explain the why! The questions can be realistic or unrealistic! The goal here is just to get the students talking.
- Two Truths and a Fib- Have everyone write down two things that are true about them and one fib. Then try to guess and see which one is not true! You might find some awesome things you would have never known.
- Trivia, Nearpod, or Kahoot- Each of these are great tools for the academic world, but have you ever made a Nearpod, or Kahoot about movies, music, or sports? This is a fun way to see what the students know or if they have an interest in different things. I have done a Name That Tune Kahoot with my students and so many students found out they liked similar songs to their peers!
- Dream Room-Students can complete this digitally or in hard copy (and upload a picture). Have students draw a layout of their ideal or perfect room. Have them draw at least 5 "Must Haves" for their perfect room. For example, if someone loves the outdoors they might draw a room in a treehouse with books, binoculars, a refrigerator, journals for drawing, and something to play music on! Don't forget to have your students explain the 'Why"!
- Favorite Things- This one is simple but can be done in many ways! Have students discuss their favorite things. You can use dice, a digital name chooser, or simply have the students choose what they want to answer. Don't forget to participate as well!
- Collage- Students can complete this digitally or in hard copy (and upload a picture). Have students create a collage of their favorite things! This can include shows, stores, colors, activities, foods, and restaurants. Anything that helps explain who they are!
Things Teachers Can Do
- Virtual Discussion Board-Post a discussion "get to know you question". This can be done once, once a week, or even randomly throughout the school year. Once the students reply make sure you reply to their post so they know you read it and to show you value their input and participation.
- Create a Classroom Playlist- Ask the students what are some of their favorite school-appropriate songs and start the class by signing or listening to a song together. This can help with transitions or can help unwind students from passing periods to get settled into their seats. A few of my class favorites were "Count On Me" by Bruno Mars, "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers, and "Rise Up" by Andra Day. By the end of the year, everyone was enjoying our class theme songs!
- Quote of the Week- Each Monday start off the week with a quote of the week. Talk about what the students think the quote means and how they can model the quote in their life. On Friday discuss with the students if anyone did something that resembled the quote or if the quote has a new meaning to them.
- Respond Individually- Take the time to respond to students and how they are doing in the class, maybe choose 3-4 students each week to leave a personal note to, and make sure you leave one to the whole class by the end of the semester.
Things To Remember
Building and establishing relationships is something that should be done all semester. Once you have started those relationships do small things to keep them strong throughout the year. Establishing relationships should be enjoyable for you and your students, any of these activities or ones similar will help to get conversations going!