What would you like your teacher to know about you, take two

This is a better version (I think) of this post from last year. I use a Socrative quiz as a questionnaire with each class at the start of the new academic year to find out a bit more about each student, and this helps me to get to know my students and establish the supportive relationships that will underpin their time in my class.  Studying the answers helps me to learn about my new students, what they value about themselves (or not), their worries and hopes about their learning, and how they see themselves in the new environment of college. An unintended side effect of the questionnaire has been that my students often use it to give me information about themselves that I would not have gathered through the standard information gathering activities we do: the young person who is anxious about coming in to class after everyone else, the young person who finds the campus overwhelming, the child with a new baby brother who isn’t sleeping, the young person who doesn’t think they are clever enough for college, the young person whose parents are separating, the young person who has a difficult journey in the morning or who doesn’t have any money for lunch. All of these problems have been disclosed via this questionnaire at one time or another and have enabled us to intervene early, before the problems present themselves through behaviour, progress or attendance issues.

I have learned that I have to time this quiz carefully; too early and the relationship that gives them confidence to tell me about themselves isn’t yet established. Running it in the first week one year resulted in the class treating it as a huge joke. I ran it again near to the autumn half term with the same class with much more success (and a great deal less sarcasm). Generally the second or third week of term is about right.

Getting to know you quiz

For returning students (A level and BTEC second years) I use a slightly adapted version of the questionnaire, where students start to reflect on their results at AS level and what they need to do this year to improve. This forms the basis for the SMART targets they go on to set.

Socrative is great because students can access it in a web browser or through their mobile devices, nobody else can see their answers, and the results come to me as a PDF or spreadsheet that can be emailed, downloaded or sent to Google Drive.

My Socrative quizzes can be imported into your own Socrative account, and adapted to suit your needs, by using the following share codes:

Quiz for new students: SOC-955443

Quiz for returning students: SOC-1680940

To import, log into Socrative at socrative.com and click Quizzes – Import Quiz.