All students who are new to my district participate in a new student orientation. They are given a tour and do some icebreaker activities. I wanted to plan a check-in activity for students after they had been at the for month to see how their school year was going so far and if they had any questions now that the school year was up and running.
I scheduled three meetings during students study hall period, which is about 40 minutes long. I scheduled a separate check-in for each grade level. I invited all students in the grade who started new to the district since the beginning of the school year.
At the check-in, I had students first take a New Student Survey. You can view the survey and the questions I asked here. I created the survey using Google Forms. Since my school is a 1:1 ChromeBook school, students were able to take the survey online. I used the results to see how students were doing and to check-in with students who seemed they could use extra support.
After students took the survey, we did an icebreaker activity with M&Ms. I got the idea for this activity from She's Crafty's M&M get to know you game. I modified the icebreakers to be about new students.
I gave each student a fun size pack of M&Ms and the M&M New Student Icebreaker Sheet. We went around the table and students pulled out an M&M to answer the icebreaker that corresponded of the M&M. When students were sharing I asked students to raise their hand if they felt a connection with the person's answer or felt similarly.
Overall I think the New Student Check-in went well. It gave new students an opportunity to talk to other new students and to see they were not alone in the ways they were feeling. It helped to answer any questions students still had about the school or getting involved in activities.
Although I did not do this activity the same way this year, I did do the components of the activity on a smaller scale.
To make the M&M New Student Icebreakers:
I printed the icebreakers on regular computer paper and used makers to put a box around the colors. I then cut them out with paper edgers to add an element of fun.
M&M New Student Check-in - Color
M&M New Student Check-in - Black and White - this is the version I used and drew around each color with a maker.
To modify the questions, go to File, then Make a Copy.
Tip: Shop for fun-size M&Ms after holidays! They are a lot cheaper!
***Make sure you take food allergies into consideration before doing this activity. Fun size regular Skittles could be an alternative treat for this activity. You can modify the questions to have the different colors of Skittles. ***
Comment below, tweet, contact Danielle, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!
Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Connect with Danielle via email, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.