Survey Says…Student Inventories Are a Hit!

Does getting to know your students at the beginning of the year feel overwhelming? Whether you’re at a new school or just getting a new batch of kindergartners, finding the time to discover all your students’ passions and interests can take forever.

That’s why one of my favorite tools to use at the beginning of the school year is a student interest inventory.

Obviously, the purpose of using interest inventories or surveys in your classroom is to gain information about your students. The beauty is that what you do with the information can greatly impact the rest of your school year. You can change the questions you pose to meet your needs depending on your students’ ages and what specific information you want to learn.  For example, you could include questions about personal traits, hobbies, interests, likes, dislikes, and learning style preferences.

Because student interest inventories can help you build rapport and create connections with your students from day one, the beginning of the year, quarter or trimester are the best times to have students fill them out. Then, you can use the information you learn in a variety of ways.

I’ve used student interest inventories in my classroom to plan lessons and seating charts, to see whether or not a class prefers to listen to music during work time and as a way to start conversations with students. The possibilities are truly endless when you adapt the questions to meet your needs.

You can click below to download a PDF of a sample student inventory I created for my middle school students.

Click to Download Free PDF
Click to Download Free PDF

So, how do you get to know your students on a personal level?

Have you used student inventories? If so, what platform did you use? Pencil and paper? Google Forms? Other technology?

Share your ideas in the comments below!

Cassidy Reinken


This article was written by former AOE writer and life-long learner, Cassidy Reinken.


  • Jescia

    I just created a new survey, which is so much more fun than the one I used last year with my middle schoolers. This year I’ll have the “Student Superhero Registration Form,” where students have to draw their superhero alter ego, a check-list of superpowers, and register other pertinent information (involving their best super hero story). I am looking forward to trying it out in a few weeks!

    • That is so creative! Thank you for attaching your example.

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  • Andrew Thomas

    I like the superhero form you did! What grade level did you gear that to?
    I might try it with my 5th and 6th graders.