Communication is a two-way street, as are expectations. This contains some ideas on what to ask students at the beginning of the year to find out their hopes, expectations, and what they need from a teacher, as well as how to do it effectively.
First Week of School Activities. I like the last two questions. Perhaps more questions geared towards kids' feelings about ur classes content area and/or learning. Examples: How does writing make u feel? When I read I feel? I think homework helps me, waste of time is hard, etc.
What's On Your Mind? Is a terrific way to get to know your students + these make an easy and awesome bulletin board too! Great activity for the first week of school and a nice ice breaker for students to get to know their new classmates.