Back to School Handouts to Start the Year

Middle school students


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Get to Know Me Worksheet

Get To Know Me Worksheet. S. Watson

These worksheets will put middle grade or middle school students to work on the first days of school, and give them a platform to talk about who they are and what they like. This, in particular, helps students think about their intellectual style as well as their interests in school.

This is a great resource for planning and grouping as well as for "getting to know you" activities for your class. This is probably the most powerful as a resource in a co-taught class, so you can identify typical peers who would be good partners/mentors for your students with disabilities.

Planning and Grouping

This activity lets you know how many students consider themselves dependent on direction or prefer to work independently. The first group are not good candidates for small group projects, the second group will be, or at least the result of the activity may help you identify leaders. It will also help you consider how much self-monitoring you require for students who don't consider themselves independent. It also helps identify individual strengths and weaknesses.

Getting to Know You Activity

Four Corners is a great ice-breaker "getting to know you" activity for your classroom. You might choose a "two corner" variant for the different questions that are on a continuum, i.e. "I like to work alone."  "I like to work with others" and have the students place themselves on a continuum from "Always alone" to "Always with others."  This should help your students start to build relationships.  

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What I Like About School Handout

What I Like About School worksheet. S.Watson

This handout challenges your students to think about what they like or don't like about each of the academic subjects. These handouts can help you, as a teacher, identify students' strengths as well as their needs.   You might want to stage some "move to vote" or Four Corners activities.  Ask all the students who like geometry in one corner, who like solving word problems in another corner, etc.  You might also place a subject at each corner and have students identify which subject they prefer. 

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When My Work Is Done, I Will

When My Work Is Done worksheet. S. Watson

This handout sets out a platform for students to access or choose "sponge work," the activities that fill their time productively when classroom assignments are completed. By laying out the choices at the beginning of the year, you establish the routines that will support your students' success.

This handout also helps you build repertoire's of acceptable "sponge work" to support your student's learning. Students who like to draw?  How about extra credit for a drawing of a fort that was part of a state history lesson? Students who like to do research on the computer?  How about a Wiki with links to sites they have found to support other topics? Or for students who like to play games that support math skills, how about a place on one of your bulletin boards for students to post their top scores? This will also help students build relationships across interests. 

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Your Citation
Watson, Sue. "Back to School Handouts to Start the Year." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Watson, Sue. (2020, August 27). Back to School Handouts to Start the Year. Retrieved from Watson, Sue. "Back to School Handouts to Start the Year." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).