The beginning of every school year brings new adventures, new opportunities, new beginnings, and new friends. Elementary school teachers spend much time helping students renew old relationships and develop new ones. We always read stories about friendship and search for new activities to create bonding experiences for our new students.
I love random pairing. I also prefer to put my students into groups of 2 for partner activities. I like 2 kids to a group for the simple reason that participation tends to be higher in smaller groups. With groups of 3 or more it seems like someone is always sitting and observing instead of actively participating.
This week, our first week back in school, we spent a lot of time doing partner activities. I use a random drawing process to partner my students. There is always some shock at first. There is usually some trepidation when someone ends up paired with someone they don’t really know. Girls and boys who end up paired together usually give each other some strange looks. By Friday, the kids understood how the process works and for the most part just grinned at their new partners. I truly believe this random pairing goes a long way in forging new friendships within my classroom.
We undertook all of the usual first week activities for early elementary grade levels. We read a series of Kevin Henkes books. Chester’s Way, Wemberly Worried, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and of course, Chrysanthemum are just a few of the books we used this week. He is my favorite author and the perfect author for a Back to School unit. We played Getting to Know You games. We prepared activity after activity for partners to come together, work together, and in the process, get to know each other.
On Friday, we had another random partner drawing. This time we were drawing for friends to interview. Each student had a brief interview sheet with some basic questions such as age, favorite food, favorite subject, etc. The two partners then set about interviewing each other. After the interview process was completed, we watched a YouTube video on how to create a Teligami. We also watched a 33 second Teligami video that had been uploaded to YouTube. All of this preparation took about 10 minutes. A few of my students had used Teligami before, but most had not.
Their task was to create a Teligami introducing their new friend. They could create an animated character for the introduction. They could use a Teligami background or they could take a photo of our classroom for the background. I didn’t let them download from the internet for background images. We haven’t had that lesson yet. They could record their voices introducing their friend or they could type the text and let the Teligami app generate a computer voice. Everyone chose to make their own voice recording of course.
The kids had a great time interviewing friends and creating Teligami characters. I got to know my kiddos a little better by observing their tech skills and their creativity.
How do you use Teligami in your classroom? Please comment to share your ideas. If you like my blog please click on the follow button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.