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the Summer Heat; Plan Ice Breakers for Fall
This article is the second in a series looking at preparation for the next school year.
[more icebreakers here»]
You have a lot of curriculum to cover throughout the school year. Time is precious, and you can't afford to lose the first two weeks of class so the students can learn to get along well together. Coming up with activities to "break the ice" for your students is a great way to cut down on that introductory period. And whether you're a first-year teacher or have been doing this for 20 years, coming up with ideas for the first couple of days can be tough.
Here are some activities you can do to make your students feel at ease as soon as possible.
Each student receives a slip of paper with a song title on it, with about four or five people receiving the same song. They don't show their song to anybody. Instead, they hum their song, walking around the room trying to find other people humming the same song. For younger students, put the name of an animal on their paper. They can walk around making their animal's noise until they find others making the same noise.
Have each student introduce himself by first name and tell something they did this summer that starts with the same letter. For example, I could say "Hi, my name is Nicole, and I nudged the President." The next person in the line (or circle) does the same but must also introduce the people before him and their summer activity.
Place enough chairs for every student in a circle. Tell the children that you're sure you all have something in common with each other. Then say something like, "I really love pizza. If you love pizza, too, stand up by your seat." Comment on how many and continue with a few more statements like this. Then, and this is where the fun begins, tell the students to move to another seat if must stand in response to the next question. It should not be adjacent to them or occupied. As they do this, you sit in an empty seat. The last child standing will be the next person in the middle who must form an "if" statement. The trick to getting out of the center is to pick something that lots of people will have in common. Your students should learn this after a couple of rounds.
A classic icebreaker is to give your students a "People
Finder Sheet." Make a list of qualifications like "Can speak
another language" or "Has visited Europe." Then have students
seek out these people in your class. Students who meet the qualifications
initial the item. The object of the game is to fill the page with initials,
but they can only use a student's initials once per sheet. Be careful,
though. Because this icebreakers is a classic, many of your older students
will have done this countless times in the past. But you can still use
this icebreaker! The trick is to make the qualifications more interesting
so they can learn fun things about each other.
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