Basically, the way it works is we go around the classroom and each student shares one thing from their weekend. It takes about five minutes (shares rarely take 30 seconds), yet provides me so much information that I might not get another way.
Through the 30 Second Share, I've learned more about my students' lives outside school and about what's going on at home. Things like what they do (or don't do) on the weekends, their hobbies and interests, what they like to do for fun. I can then use this information in other areas of our learning day, such as when I recommend a book or when I make up a word problem in math.
But the 30 Second Share also gives me valuable insight into any trouble that might be brewing. Maybe someone is sick, a parent is away for awhile or a pet died over the weekend. I can make a note to check in with this student later in the day or week to see how things are going.
I also share something about my weekend during the 30 Second Share. The students love this! I feel sharing about my life helps build the connection I have with my students. They know me as a person, as well as their teacher.
Building connections with our students is one of the most important things we can do in the classroom. This short five minute activity every week is a small time investment to help make this happen. I think this graphic pretty much sums it up: