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!!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.