One of the goals of the first day of school is always to get to know the students in some way. Over the years I have planned many different activities to help everyone feel a little more at home in our class. A tried and true method is to have each student share one thing about themselves as I take roll, but some kids don't enjoy being put on the spot like that-- I was one of those kids myself, and I still kind of hate having to share personal stuff in a meeting or class.
So with that in mind I devised an alternate approach. Rather than have the student tell me something, I told them I would guess a few things about them that they could either confirm or correct. I was like Professor Marvel in The Wizard of Oz. Spying a new binder and matching pencil pouch, I would confidently declare, Your favorite color is purple! The tall kids usually got, You play basketball! And, playing the odds, many kids heard, Your favorite subject is math! or Your favorite song this summer was California Gurls! Amazing!
Soon I branched out a bit in my predictions.
Me: You have an annoying... hamster!
Me: When you grow up you want to be a professional... accountant!
Student: Football player.
Me: Are you sure?
Of course I was wrong as often as I was right, but then the kids just laughed at how ridiculous it would be if pizza was their favorite food instead of sushi, or if they had gone to the beach instead of NYC on vacation, and when the day was through, we ended up learning a lot about each other.