Posted September 1, 2008on:
I give this homework assignment about a week into school. I used to do it the first or second day, but I prefer to get to know the kids a little first, it makes the assignment more valuable to me.
Basically, I ask them to tell me about their background in science, their likes and dislikes. The students like this assignment because it shows I want to listen to what they have to say.
Although the assignment say for them to type it, I usually tell them to hand write the thing, it seems more personal. It also gives me a quick assessment of their writing and language skills very early in the year.
One last point – I ask them to write about the environment they work best in, so I use their writing to define my classroom rules since the students wrote them.