What’s Your Fortune?


At the Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience, I picked up some great classroom activities from Loriann Irving, of Kutztown University. Loriann has built a creative portfolio of interactive exercises for use in her first-year seminar course.


She shared this activity for test or assignment review titled Fortunate Questions. Supplies needed include strips of paper (large enough for writing) and individual fortune cookies from the Asian foods aisle at your grocery or a specialty foods store.

Provide each student with a fortune cookie and strip of paper. Highlighting a textbook chapter, article, or other project, ask students to review pages or portions of recent assignments that will be on the next exam or are important in the course. Request that they write questions on the strips of paper. Collect the fortune papers in a basket, mix them up, then have students draw one from the basket. In a go-round, ask students to read the question they have selected and respond for the class.

Getting to know you? Create a cover story!


Here is a great idea for getting to know a new class of students at the beginning of the semester: ask students to create a magazine cover! It comes from Barbara Nixon, an assistant professor at Georgia Southern. I follow Barbara’s blog and on Twitter because she is always sharing great gems such as this assignment for her Public Relations course. I may utilize the concept to introduce our peer leaders to new first-year students, still letting the idea percolate. 


Of course, I am partial to magazine covers. The image above is the birth announcement for my son (created without the handy-dandy website!)