First day icebreaker

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by GatorGal, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I know this has been brought up in the past, but I am in desperate need of a new icebreaker I can use with my high schoolers.

    I try do a lot of classroom relationship building in the beginning of the semester, so I want an icebreaker to help them (and me!) learn names.

    I don't want to resort to having each kid stand up and say something unique about themselves (I HATED that in college:lol:).
     
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  3. kelbel7583

    kelbel7583 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    A unique ice breaker activity that I've done with middle schoolers is known as "Snowball Fight". When students enter into the classroom I ask them to write down 2-3 pieces of information about themselves. I specifically ask them not to write their names on this piece of paper. Then, students are told to fold their paper into a ball. After giving very clear instructions, students are allowed to participate in a mock "snowball fight" using their balled up pieces of info. I allow the "fight" to last only about 1-2 minutes. When told to "freeze" students pick up the nearest "snowball" and return to their desks. We then go around the room and share the information on our found snowball. Classmates try to guess who their snowball belongs to.
     
  4. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2008

    That sounds fun!
     
  5. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2008

    Our school is so strict we could never do that.. Sounds like fun though.
     
  6. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I did a similar snowball fight last year - I had them write down 3 things about themselves that started with the same letter as their first name. We went around and said names once and then they had to throw their paper, take another paper that was thrown their way and try to return it to the original owner. Admittedly it didn't help me that much (I find an alphabetical seating chart is the best thing for that) but on the last day of school one of the kids said to me, "Remember that day when you let us throw paper in class?" So I see that as success :)

    This was with 9th graders, by the way. I would suggest putting a time limit on the throwing.
     
  7. ByCandleLight

    ByCandleLight Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I tried using something similar to the snowball activity. I had a series of "my favorite..." questions and had the kids answer them on index cards. Then I shuffled them, redistributed them, and the kids read them aloud and tried to guess whose card it was.

    Only problem is that I work in a town with a population of about 1400. Everybody knows everyone else. Kinda took all the fun out of it.

    Now I don't have an ice breaker. Just go straight into a group activity that involves the kids finding movie and music examples for each of the literary elements for the next day's lesson.
     
  8. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I have 2 on my list so far:

    1) I love the toilet paper roll ice breaker! It's perfect for 9th graders because all you have to do is pull it out and they all start laughing. Anyway, you have to have a few of these ice breakers planned because word will spread between classes and once they are on to you - game over! :) If you don't know this one - you pass a roll of t.p. around the room, instructing the students to take as many squares as they think they will need. You don't tell them what they will need it for even though they will beg. Once everyone has their squares - again, go around the room and they have to tell one fact about themselves for every square they are holding!

    2) The pipe cleaners - hand out a pipe cleaner to each student. Give them only a few minutes to create something that represents who they are. Go around the room and have them share what it is they made and why. This was so much fun at one of our teacher trainings!

    I am still on the hunt for more!
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 26, 2008

    ohhhhh, I like the snowball fight and pipe cleaner ones. I think the snowball fight would be fun considering where I live. We all remember the ONE day it snowed in miami...january of 1977. I was little more than a year old and I have a vivid visual image of running outside to look with my very pregnant mother chasing after me. I think the kids would get a kick out of that.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 26, 2008

  11. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    When I sub for middle school and don't have plans to follow (rarely), we play "Two Truths and a Lie." I write down three facts about myself on the board. Two are true and one is a lie. (For example, "It took me 22 years to graduate college. My best friend has purple hair. I have four kids." )Then I have the kids do the same thing. The objective is to have the class guess which is the lie (four kids), so obviously, the more outlandish the truth is and the more plain the lie is, the more likely the class will get it wrong. It's a really fun game and it makes kids have to think about things no one knows about them. Plus, the kids learn new interesting things about one another.

    [[BTW, I started college in 1984 right out of high school, attended a year, dropped out to get married, had kids, then went back and finally graduated 22 years later in 2006 ;o) ]]

    We also have played "I Never." You give all the kids about 5 of something. Could be m&ms. I used little colored sticks I had a lot of. Then the first person says something that s/he has never done that s/he thinks most people in the room have done. For example, I always say, "I have never been over 5 feet tall." Then, everyone in the room who HAS done what the speaker has not done must turn in one stick. Winner is the person at the end still holding the most sticks OR the last person to lose their last stick.
     
  12. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I like those ideas! I break the class into groups of 3-6 students. Each person in the group has to determine the number syllables in their name and create a beat to go with it. They can use pat, clap, stomp, snap, or other sounds. (e.g. Sarah - pat/ clap, Jonathan - clap/ clap/ jump etc..) Then they have to put all their names together(adding 1 at a time). The goal is to be able to hear each person's name with their pattern. I say the different names with them. It is neat to see how creative they become. Next time I do it I will add pointing to different group members and having students say the name with me.
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 27, 2008

    Last year I had mine draw lips on an index card without telling them why (that was the bellwork). They then had to tape them on their face and line up around the room in order of birthdays without speaking. I found it incredibly entertaining.
     
  14. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2008

    Ooh ... that's good :) I have all girls too and I bet they would love it! What kind of tape did you use?
     
  15. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Jul 27, 2008

    I have the children introduce themselves,then tell us something they did this summer.The next child has to tell the name and the activity they did for each child that went before them.I go last and have to name everyone and am really bad at this. The children are so much better than I am they love that.
    I have also tried partner interviews in which we make up a series of questions then pick partners who create venn diagrams from what they found out about each other.
    Sometimes I have the children answer Questions about themselves-example favorite food,school subject,color so on.I then collect the papers and read out the answers and the class has three guesses to identify the person.
    Have you ever done Find Someone Who-I create a set of boxes each containing information such as Likes School next box-Plays a musical instrument-or solves conflicts peacefully.Twelve boxes should be plenty,although the number is up to you. I then ask the children to quietly walk around the room and find someone who fits the criteria set up. They then sign their name in that box.(only the children who like school can sign their name in that box.)We then share the information we learned about our classmates.
     
  16. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2008

    These are all great ideas!

    This sounds SO cute.
     
  17. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2008

    Just regular ol' scotch tape.
     
  18. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2008

    I found another one I had downloaded last year - Personality or People Bingo. There are several of these floating around the internet.

    Make a bingo-like grid (5x5, 5x4) with either "Free" or "Teacher Signature" in the middle (your choice). Fill in the squares with things such as "Has flown in an airplane," "Ate cereal for breakfast," "Celebrates a birthday in April," "Is wearing a red shirt," etc. Make copies for all the students. They have to mingle with classmates in order to find either one or two signatures for each square (you decide). I would suggest making the rule that a student can only sign another student's paper in 2 spots. The first person who completes their card wins!

    (Some versions have this with questions in the squares for each student to fill out first with their info, then they find matches. Ex - "What is your favorite movie?" "Name one item you have in your pocket," "Have you ever had your tonsils removed?" etc)

    Sounds like fun to me!
     
  19. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2008

    oooooooooooooooh I found another one!
    Since it is made for college students I would definitely skip some of the questions - such as "What is your favorite part of the human body?" YIKES! I could only imagine...

    Ice Breakers | Beachball

    Instructions

    Get a large inflatable beach ball and use a permanent fine or medium point marker to write all of the following questions on it. This will take quite some time, but you can do it some night in front of the television. The resulting tool is an "icebreaker ball" that you can use for years to come.

    You can use it in a large group and throw it around. The person who catches it has to answer the question touching their left thumb. They then say their name, answer the question and throw it to someone else.

    You may also choose to use these questions as conversation starters in other types of games.

    The following questions are simply suggestions. You can add more serious or in depth questions, depending upon the level of ice breaker you want this to be:

    If you talking your sleep, what would you say?
    What is the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
    If Satan lived on earth, what would he be called by his friends?
    What is your favorite movie line?
    Approximately how many jokes do you know by heart? and tell us your favorite.
    What do Martians do for fun on Mars?
    If you were to treat yourself to the "finer things" what would you treat yourself to?
    If your life was being turned into a feature length movie, who would play you? And why?
    Where is the worst place you've ever been stuck waiting?
    What is your "15 minutes" of fame?
    If you were invisable where would you go?
    What's your favorite flavor of Jelly Bellys?
    What one object in your home are you most embarrassed about owning?
    Give three adjectives to describe the perfect kiss?
    What is your greatest addiction?
    What song reminds you most of a past or present relationship?
    Approximately, how many books have you read in the past year (excluding school book)?
    Fill in the blank: When I dance, I look like ___________ .
    What is the longest work you can thing of?
    Who is one person you wish you never met?
    If you could be a famous actor, writer, athlete, arist or muscian, which would you choose and why?
    What is the worst occupation in the world?
    What two television channels do you watch most frequently?
    What is your greatest phobia?
    If you were given a canvas and water colors, what would you paint?
    What celebrity irritates you the most?
    Other than the standard items (credit cards, money, drivers license, etc.), what interesting items do you keep in your wallet/purse?
    What is the meanest thing you can say to somebody?
    If you owned an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
    What is you life long dream?
    If you could ask the president of the united states one question, what would it be?
    What have you tried in life and simply were not good at?
    What is the scariest movie you've ever seen?
    On a scale of 1 to 10 how "hip" are you?
    What's the biggest advantage of being really tall?
    How many minutes does it take you to get ready in the morning?
    What hobby have you always wanted to pick up?
    If you could be a member of a tv sitcom family, which would it be?
    What is it about you that people find irresistable?
    If you were any animal, what would you be?
    What store is represented most in your wardrobe?
    What event or technological breakthrough do you think will revolutionize the future?
    What do you need more of right now?
    If you were a nationality other than your own which would you choose? Why?
    What is the most beautiful word you can think of?
    What beverage do you find nauseating?
    What is your favorite part of the human body?
    What three adjectives best describe you?
    If you were on a desert island what two books would you want with you?
    What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
    If you were running for mayor of boston what words would comprise your slogan (max. 6 words)?
    What is your favorite book growing up?
    What american city does not deserve a place on the map? Why?
    What is the most common compliment people give you?
    What is the best purchase you've ever made?
    If you could add any word to the dictionary what would it be?
    What commercial product would you refuse to endorse?
    What is your favorite pet name?
    What word best describes your internet knowledge?
    If you were flying in a plane that was about to creash, who would you want sitting next to you?
    What American presidents do you know the most and the least about?
    What is the longest period of time you have spent in a car?
    What is the best costume you ever wore for halloween?
    If you were a teacher would subject would you teach?
    What is the biggest indication that someone is a nerd?
    What latest trend simply baffles you?
    IF you were an evil dictator, where would you rule?
    What is the worst grade you ever recieved? What class was it for?
    What would you like your nickname to be?
    What do you consider your nicest feature?
    If you could bathe in a vat of any drink or food item, what would you choose?
    What is the dirtiest word in the english language?
    What song do you keep hearing over and over and over again?
    What are you most proud of?
    If you were to wipe one country off the map, which would you choose?
    What is the worst piece of clothing someone can wear?
    How many keys do you have on your key ring?
    Who has the worst name that you know?
    What age were you when you had your most embarassing hair style? And what was it?
    What's the best advice you're ever recieved?
    If you could change one thing about the way you look what would it be?
    What is the grossest thing you've ever done in public?
    What song reminds you most of the 80s?
    What do you regard as the most repulsive form of music?










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  20. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    Aug 2, 2008

    Oh I love this idea! I'm so stealing it! Thanks for posting :)
     
  21. MSUalum08

    MSUalum08 Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2008

    This is a re-post of another one of mine, so sorry if you already read it.

    I am a student teacher this year but I am going to try an idea that we did at the beginning of a methods class I took in college. I'll let you know how it goes next month but its called "Museum of Me" I've seen it on other sites so I know its not unheard of but I liked it as a college student so I can imagine the kids will too.

    mini synopsis:
    On the first day the teacher brings in 5-10 items that tell something about yourself. For example I brought in a picture of the coliseum (I spent my study abroad there), a t-shirt from the preschool camp I taught at (even though I'm secondary), a running shoe, a CD, etc. Then you place them on a table and tell the kids to write a few sentences about what they think each item means and volunteer to share them, then you tell a little bit about each item and what it means to you.

    For the first homework assignment you tell the kids to bring in items for themselves the next day (if the items are things they arent allowed to bring to school like ipods, encourage them to print pictures). And then set their museums up on desks. Then assign a desk to a different student and have them write what they think each item means and afterwards have the actual student do a mini explanation.

    Kind of a basic explanation but very cool. I like the lesson because you can bring up the concept of sources and interpreting photographs, etc in history and how objective it is.
     

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