Tag Archives: first day of school

BYOT: What Will They Bring?

Our school is piloting a Bring Your Own Technology program this fall.

I am very excited about this and have made a list of ideas for this fall. However, in my position, I am not sure what to expect in terms of my students and the devices they will have available to them.

Students are not required to bring their own technology and teachers are not required to use it. For those without personal devices, we still have 2.5 computer labs available and a cart of 20 laptops that have been vandalized. (We are hoping that students will take better care of their own technology???)

And at this time, I still do not know what I am teaching this fall. School starts in less than a month (no official countdown at this time) and I don’t have a schedule. I don’t know which teachers, which subjects, or which grade levels I will be working with. (This has been the hardest part of my summer…not knowing.)

Despite this, I have created a survey for whatever class I may end up in. I plan to share this with my co-teachers and other staff members as I am also on the technology committee.

This BYOT First Day Survey will help us get a better feel for what we can do in our classrooms with BYOT.20120730-102257.jpgAfterthought: Thinking about this today during professional development, I think I need to add a question texting/data packages.  If they do not have unlimited texting or unlimited data, we would need to keep that in mind.

I am a Squiggle Stuck Inside a Square

I have been writing about multiple intelligences and learning styles the last few days. Now, how about a personality test? This is a personal favorite of mine, and great ice breaker for the first day of class. Preparation is simple.

  1. Display four shapes on the board/SMARTBoard: a square, circle, triangle, and a squiggle.
  2. Instruct students to choose one shape and draw it on the corner of a pink index card.*
  3. Students then get into groups based on their choices.
  4. Give handouts to each group. I have included the PDF versions of the Symbol Test Handouts I give to the groups.** Feel free to use them in your classroom. These descriptions could be reworded for a variety of age levels. The files I have attached have been used with students at the middle school level.
  5. The group then has about 10-15 minutes to design a poster with their shape, everyone’s names and the characteristics of their shape.
  6. The groups then share their poster briefly with the class.
  7. For homework, students respond on the pink index card about the activity and their shape.

Examples of questions I might ask:

  • Which shape were you and do you think it best described you?
  • What made you think it was a good match?
  • If it wasn’t a good match, which shape would be a better fit?
  • What else do you think I should know about you as a learner?
  • Please include anything that will help me be a better teacher for you.

This activity is a great way to see how students work together, see who the natural leaders are, and let students get to know their classmates. You will be surprised how honest students will be on their index cards. This gives kids a chance to ask for help right away and give you a heads up about their concerns.

Now, out of curiosity, which shape did you choose?


I am a squiggle stuck inside a square.

*The reason for the pink index card? It’s easy for them to find in their binders because of the color. It’s non-threatening because it’s small. And it’s easy to store.

**This activity is based on information from the following sites.



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