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Old 07-03-2011, 04:52 PM
math2010s math2010s is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
1st day Ice Breakers

I am a new math teacher and I am trying to figure out what 1st day ice breakers/activities are really fun for middle schoolers. Some of my classes will have as few as 10 students and others will have around 25 students, so I guess I'll need two different activities due to the number of students. The typical ice breaker seems to be a scavenger hunt where kids walk around gathering signatures based upon questions. This is fine, but it just seems so "typical". Does anyone have any other suggestions? Thank you!!
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:29 PM
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The Fonz The Fonz is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 187
Math Teacher
this isn't quite what you were asking for, but in my opinion, i spend the first day going over rules, not doing ice breakers.

I know each teacher has their own style, but i feel using that first day to make the rules and expectations clear shows the students what i am expecting.

I hand out the syllabus (I teach high school, I wouldn't do that for middle school) go over it, then hand out a contract with the rules and grading policy clearly stated and have them sign it and make their parents sign it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:07 AM
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chebrutta chebrutta is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,573
Land of Sunshine
MS Language Arts
I have the kids introduce themselves to me. They have a few minutes to think about my questions, then they have to stand up and say them to the class. Usual questions are:

Favorite subject & why?
Least favorite subject & why?
Most interesting scar? (Or something equally silly to break the ice and boring-ness).

After this, I get down into an activity - either a scavenger hunt based on the classroom rules or a learning activity (my P doesn't like us to do rules on the first day - he likes us to jump into curriculum).
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:08 AM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,837
Math teacher
I don't do icebreakers either.

I do 10 minutes on my expectations and then I teach and assign homework.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:52 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
You could do a math gylph autobiography. I've never done it, but it would be fun if I taught math all day.

Basically, you come up with a list of questions and have the students draw or color something based on the question. Then they could share. It would give you more insight into them as a mathematician too.

Maybe, draw your favorite number largely on a piece of paper.

Draw a heart inside your favorite number if math is your favorite subject, draw a star if math is not your favorite subject.

On and on and on.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:01 AM
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~mrs.m~ ~mrs.m~ is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 369
Middle School Teacher
The love, love, love 2 Truths and a Lie...
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:33 PM
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Ima Teacher Ima Teacher is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,998
Middle School Teacher
I never do icebreakers either. By the time I get them, they have already spent a year together, and 70% of them attended the same elementary school, and the other 30% attended another school.

I prefer to spend my first day going over procedures and expectations, and then I have them write an introduction letter to me. I teach English, so that gives me some information about the kids and their writing ability. They don't really need to break the ice with each other, but I need to get to know them.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:37 PM
nstructor nstructor is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 391
United States
How do you all learn your new students' names? I used to do-pass the ball around-say your name and 1 word to describe you, the next person goes and repeats the person(people) before him/her, etc. . .it gets really monotonous, but helps learn names quickly!
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:06 PM
MissCeliaB MissCeliaB is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,701
I learned a cute one this summer. You break kids up into groups and give each groups a die and a penny. Then you give them a list of six things like:

1. My school.
2. MY family.
3. My job. (etc.)

They roll the tie and toss the penny. For whatever number they roll, if it's heads they tell their favorite thing, and if it's tails they tell their least favorite thing. You could make it as personal or general as you want.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:56 PM
math2010s math2010s is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
Thank you

Thanks for the ideas. I knew I could count on this forum.
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1st, breakers, day, ice

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