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By Shayla McGhee The first day of school is quickly approaching for many of our Georgia school districts, and in an effort to help teachers and students overcome their first day jitters, we have added even more activities to our popular icebreaker blog!
Icebreakers may seem trivial but they can assist with building meaningful relationships with students. Below are some icebreakers that can help you establish an encouraging, educational environment where students thrive.
Marooned Establish a collaborative, cooperative learning environment on the first day of school with Marooned. Place students into groups of five and tell them that they are stranded on a deserted island. Explain that they must select five items from their personal belongings to help them survive and that each member of their group must contribute one thing.
Give them about ten minutes to dig through their book bags, purses, or pockets to select necessary items. Then, have each group stand and explain what they selected and how each object is essential to their survival.
Arrange your classroom chairs in an inward facing circle and have everyone sit in a chair. There should be one less chair than students. Any student that identifies with that particular characteristic must stand up and move to a different chair.
Every time someone gets up, a chair is removed. Any child that cannot find a chair will step outside of the circle and help the teacher think of phrases for the remaining players. Six Word Story Make students describe their summers in a complete sentence using only six words.
Have them switch papers with a classmate that has to add a comment comprised of only six words. Once students enter the classroom, hand them a marker and have them think of hashtags that describe themselves. Allow them to write their hashtags on the wall and explain them to the rest of the class.
Blobs and Lines This easy icebreaker from Cult of Pedagogy is sure to get everyone moving, conversing, and discovering their similarities. Simply ask students to line up in a particular order by birthday, height, etc. Not only does this activity keep students engaged, you get to learn more about them.
It also provides them with a sense of belonging. You can have them gather and line up as many times as you would like and you can even join in to see how much you have in common with you pupils.
Next, tell them to find a partner and to describe what they wrote down without using words. If their partner guesses correctly, the partner receives a point. Have them find new companions three or four times. Before school starts, create chaos in your room by purposely misplacing a few items.
This could mean that one of the numbers on your number line is out of place, a word is misspelled on the bulletin board, or that the date is incorrect. On the first day of school give students an observation sheet, place them into groups, and have them explore the room looking for abnormalities.
Classroom Scavenger Hunt Instead of finding misplaced items, send children on a scavenger hunt around the room. This may help them take note of where key functional items such as the pencil sharpener are located. Make sure you require a description of the items you are asking them to find.
Snowball Fight Have students write at least two identifying facts about themselves on a plain sheet of paper. Afterwards, everyone should gather in a circle, crumple their sheets of paper, and throw them in a pile inside the circle.
Students should scramble to pick up a new paper and take turns reading the identifying characteristics.
Time Capsules Create individualized time capsules on the first day of school. Fill them with pretests taken that week or personal letters about what they plan to accomplish throughout the school year. Letters can include expectations, clubs they would like to join, and desired grade point averages.
You can even take pictures of your students on the first day, print them out, and place them inside the boxes. On the last day of school, distribute their time capsules and allow them to see how much they have learned, grown, and accomplished in one year.
Younger students can complete handouts that ask about their favorite color, food, and book. It is amusing to see how their interests change over time. House of Cards Challenge Mrs. B from Texas came up with an excellent way to get her students to cooperate using index cards.This course is entirely and exclusively concerned with the development of potential capacities that all of you have, even though you have not developed them, capacities in that part of your mind.
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