Thursday, August 4, 2022

You, By the Numbers

Today I'm resharing my go-to first week of school activity.  It's simple, fun, gives you quite a bit of insight into your students and makes a great classroom decoration after the fact.  I'm working on a new activity for this year (since half my students will have already done this with me last year) and will share it in a couple of weeks if it works well and my students like it. 

 I'm always on the hunt for a first week activity that lets me know a little bit about my students without putting them on the spot.  Because what's more intimidating than having to come up with something interesting about yourself on the spot in front of a whole class, right?!?! 

I gave each student a paper divided into eight sections with a circle in the middle.  They were directed to put their name in the center circle and then through numbers tell me a little bit about themselves. 

Here's the example paper I  made about myself a few years back...

When explaining the assignment I showed them the blank page and then walked them through the one I made about myself... which not only made my expectations and the goals of the assignment clear, but also gave me an opportunity to introduce myself and kind of break the ice by talking a little bit about me.  

I assigned this assignment to my students last Tuesday (we spent Monday going over the syllabus, I laid out basic expectations, etc.) and it was due on Friday for a quiz grade.  I wanted them to have plenty of time to work on it and put thought and effort into it. 

I went through their papers this weekend and had so much fun learning more about each of them.  They shared much more than they would have in a typical "tell the class something about you" type of discussion and I learned some really neat things about the kids in my classes. 

NOTE: The candle lid in the pictures below is covering student names :) 

I learned about hobbies, pets, siblings, travel, sports, academic accomplishments and a lot of random info as well :)

I had some super colorful papers, some with stickers, some with printed photos and one covered in glitter.

I also got a little insight into their personalities... the jokesters, artists, introverts, etc.

I wrote little notes on the backs of their papers referencing a couple of things that I found funny, interesting or things that I related to and telling them I was excited to have them in class this year.  It was a labor of love but totally worth it.

I picked a few to put up around my room and am hoping that a few kids who may not think they have much in common will realize that they do!

I can't say enough great things about this little assignment - it could easily be altered to be "by the letters" instead of "by the numbers" or could be more open-ended.  You could give a class period or a couple of designated times to work on it the first day(s) and could allow students an opportunity to share theirs if they wanted to.  They could have to make it all about their summer, or you could have eight different questions they had to answer in pictures.  The possibilities are really endless!

You can find my blank page and brief little assignment description HERE.

Happy Thursday, friends!!!


  1. Adorable! Your # of pets will definitely increase this year! :)

  2. The link says that you need to approve access - I requested it but not sure if that's how you wanted the link to work. Thank you!


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