I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

Who Am I Project: Build Classroom Community From Day 1


I think I did it backwards. Or maybe not - you be the judge. Either way, no harm done. I'm flexible.

If you saw my Class Intro Infographic I released on Tuesday you saw how I plan to introduce my chemistry class this year. The lesson is still the same, so check it out, but I realized that I don't want to talk about the class at all the first day or two. At least not on my own initiative. If students ask? I'll answer. Otherwise I'll stay mum.

Instead, I'll wait with the Class Intro Infographic and show the Who Am I one below instead.

Who Am I Teacher Intro Infographic

You see, it's important to me to find a little bit about my students right away. Let them take center stage and create an infographic or a different "beyond PowerPoint" digital piece about themselves and put it on the class blog the first week of school.

By doing this each student creates a permanent product that features him or her as a member of our class community. As a result, community building starts on day 1 of class. Students get to learn about each other in a more profound way.

Think about it. If I spend 10 minutes talking about myself, how much will the students remember? If I do some sort of an icebreaker, have them walk around with a sheet of paper and fill it out etc., how much will they remember about others they've talked to?

Not much I conceive.

But... I've decided to Starbucks My Room this year. The space I teach in is flexible and optimized for collaboration (or will be soon - furniture and paint is on the way!). That gives me more options in how I structure learning and allows students to choose how they learn. And I have to use the advantages the space offers from day 1.

So, instead of beginning the year talking, I'm starting with a project. Each student will make their own "Who Am I." Then we'll throw each product onto the blog. And then share it with the world (families, staff, and everyone else who stumbles upon our little piece of Web real estate.

Hey, this will be a year of a lot of firsts for me. First time for #StarbucksMyRoom. First time 100% blended learning. First time running a class blog. First time trying Genius Hour. First time...

I'm deliberately placing myself out of my comfort zone. No, that's wrong... I'm expanding my comfort zone.

It's because life is too short to last long (anybody else think that song lyric is somewhat redundant? - just sayin').

Thanks for looking and reading. I hope you can use a few ideas I present here. If you'd like more or want to see the Syllabus Infographic SIGN UP for MY NEWSLETTER as I will feature it soon!


Cornell Notes on Steroids Notebook Bundle of 3

The Cornell Notes on Steroids Notebook is a 8.5"x11" 120-page academic notebook that contains an organizational method that improves on the Cornell Note-Taking System. BUNDLE & SAVE.

Add To Cart
Click on the Image to Buy the "Crush School" Book by Oskar Cymerman

Click on the Image to Buy the "Crush School" Book by Oskar Cymerman