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Flip charts with markers beneath are placed around the classroom. Here are a few examples: “I learn best in classes where the teacher ___” “Students in courses help me learn when they ___” “I am most likely to participate in classes when ___” “Here’s something that makes it hard to learn in a course: ___” “Here’s something that makes it easy to learn in a course: ___” Students are invited to walk around the room and write responses, chatting with each other and the teacher as they do.

Outlined below are a few novel activities for using that first day of class to emphasize the importance of learning and the responsibility students share for shaping the classroom environment.

Together we have the power to make this one of those “best class” experiences.

First Day Graffiti – This is an adaptation of an activity proposed by Barbara Goza in the in 1993.

Best and Worst Classes – I love this quick and easy activity.

On one section of the blackboard I write: “The best class I’ve ever had” and underneath it “What the teacher did” and below that “What the students did.” On another section I write “The worst class I’ve ever had” (well, actually I write, “The class from hell”) and then the same two items beneath.

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