I begin every school year by giving my students a Do Now to complete a student survey. I pass them out at the door when I greet each student and tell them to work on it right away. I also have the Do Now directions posted on my board. I changed up my survey this year to include more important information. (Just in case you were curious, here is the student survey from previous years.)
The first change I made was to narrow down the favorites category. I asked for the favorite everything under the sun, and was not always given good information because not everyone really loves tv shows, movies, sports, books, or whatever. Instead, I am asking students to tell me what their favorite "thing" is so I can find out what they are really passionate about.
One question that remained, but was re-worded is: What are you good at? It now reads "One thing that I am good at is: _____________". I love the responses for this question. It highlights many of their nonacademic strengths.
I kept the "I like math when ________" and "I don't like math when __________" prompts. They are helpful for gauging students' attitudes about math. I also kept "What goals do you have for yourself this year?" I like that it gives the students a focus, and knowing their goals helps me to help them. I had questions about what helps students learn or hampers their learning, but I found that these questions were not helpful. Students mainly just parroted back the examples that I gave them. Instead, I included the prompt, "As my teacher, it is very important for you know __________."
Lastly, I included questions to indicate seating preference, if students are able to stay after school, and what technological devices students have access to at home. These questions help me plan for activities.
My new survey looks like this:
One question that went missing is "What colleges/careers are you currently interested in?". I assign a "Plan Project" each year that addresses this question fully, so it's not really necessary in the survey.
I like that my new survey is much cleaner and clearer, and, hopefully, more informative. After I collect the surveys from students, I read through each one, and I place them in a binder alphabetically by class. I will add parent contact information behind each survey.
You can download a copy of the survey to adapt for your needs here if you so desire. (If you want the pretty font pictured above, you will have to download KG Part of Me.)
Also included is the back of the survey. I have three discussion questions for the first day directed toward what students need to be successful. (As in what do they need to do, what do I need to do, and what do their peers need to do?) We will answer the questions as a class, and the next day when I present my rules, I can cite how the rules will help them to be successful.
Questions, critiques, and suggestions are always welcome!
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