What are some good ice breaker activities for the first day of 3rd grade?

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by teacher_cc, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. teacher_cc

    teacher_cc Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Starting in August I will have my own classroom of 3rd graders. I am a new teacher, and would like to know what you 3rd grade teachers have done on your first day of school w/ your class. Any ice breaker activities or other fun/engaging getting-to-know-you things?
     
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  3. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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  4. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jun 23, 2008

    Doing a getting to know you scavenger hunt works well. Each child is given a list of items, and it is up to them to go around the room and ask each child if they match. One of the items might be "Has pets", and if the child being asked does have pets, he writes his name down on the other child's paper; went swimming this summer; knows how to play an instrument, etc. In this way they get to know a little bit about each other, especially children they may not have been in class with. A good example of this hunt is in the book "The First Six Weeks of School".
     
  5. hoku625

    hoku625 Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2008

    I saw this done before and I'm going to try this year... I'm making large charts with questions for each student to answer like:

    Number of children in my family:
    What month were you born in:
    Pets:
    Favorite color:
    Who was your 2nd grade teacher:
    After school I go to: After School Care, With Mom or Dad, With Grandma, By Bus

    Each student will have a set of post it notes on his/her desk to write his/her name and will add it to the chart. That way we collect data about our classmate and learn about bar graphs on the first day of school.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Jun 23, 2008

    You could have them create/decorate name cards for each other. Pair them up, have them talk about things they like to do etc. and then have them decorate one for the other person.
     
  7. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 23, 2008

    Love this idea -- a nice twist! Someone else here mentioned saving the name tags for use on field trips and when a sub comes in.
     
  8. IndyJo

    IndyJo Companion

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    Jun 24, 2008

    I make a graphic organizer with five off of the wall questions. Then I put the kids in random groups of four and five and the answer one of their five questions. I've asked students about which super power do they wish they could have and I've heard some clever responses! It really breaks the ice.
     
  9. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jun 24, 2008

    I've done a venn diagram where the students are paired up with someone else randomly and they need to find things that they have in common and things that are different. Then I take their pictures together and put it on the top of the page. I like to make a bulletin board out of it the first week of school.

    Make a wordsearch using all of their names at www.puzzlemaker.com.

    Last year each person had to come up with a sign or motion and then I pulled sticks and called out the person's name. That person said their name and showed us a sign or a motion. I pulled another stick and that person said their name and a sign or motion. We then repeated the first person and added the second person. Keep doing this until you've went around the whole classroom. The kids often would ask if we could do our sign/motion game. It really helped me to remember names and I'm sure the it helped the kiddos as well.
     
  10. christi1273

    christi1273 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2008

    I put the kids in pairs and give them a list of questions to find similarities and differences. Then I model the same questions on the activboard using myself and my team teacher. We then use this information to create a powerpoint. The kids catch on really quickly but it takes several computer lab visits for everyone to finish.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2008

    I play a game which is somewhat like I Have, Who Has, but with actions. I make up cards with directions on them and distribute them randomly. The first says something like, "Stand in front of the board and yell, 'Begin'". The next one says, "When someone yells, 'Begin', stand up and do 3 jumping jacks." And so on and so forth. I always put some really funny ones in - pretend to blow your nose loudly, make sounds like a gorilla - to get the class in a fun mood.
     
  12. wildcat82

    wildcat82 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2008

    I do something called initial art. I write each kids initials in big bubble letters on a blank sheet of white paper. I leave the inside of the letters blank and try and draw the initials pretty big. I hand out each paper with the corresponding kiddo and tell them thier job is to descirbe themselves to me using only pictures and no words. The kids decorate around their initials with all of their favorite things or things they love. For example, I've seen soccer balls, ballet shoes, ice cream, pizza, dogs, cats, and can color in thier initials with their favorite color etc. I always make an example and I go through it with them pointing to each picture. I have them raise their hand and tell me something they see on my paper. One kid said "You have a plane" and I said "Now why might I have drawn that?" and he said "You like to travel or fly places!" It works well! When they are all done, I say "See, look at all the things you have learned about me just from pictures I drew!" The kids can pass their papers around to show, or you can have them stand up and share. I always post them up in the room or in the hall. The kids really like it!
     
  13. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I love the ideas posted so far!

    One game I've played the last few years that the kids enjoy is this: I give each kid a blank index card and tell them to write 3 facts about themself on it (I do it too). I give them examples like:I have 2 sisters. I love pizza. I went to Florida last summer.

    Then I collect them all and read each one outloud. The kids try to guess who the card belongs to. We usually do 5 guesses or so and then we see if anyone was right. Its a lot of fun!

    They actually asked me to keep the cards for later in the year last year, and we played again in Nov or so...the kids still really enjoyed it and we learned about each other all over again. :)
     
  14. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I read the book "First Day Jitters" by Julie Danneberg. It is describing the feelings that someone has on the first day of school, and the person with jitters ends up being the teacher at the end! It's very funny and the illustrations are great. Afterwards they fold a sheet of paper in fours, and write the following information in each box: what questions you have, what you're excited about, what you're nervous/worried about, and an anything box where they can tell me what ever they want. I think it helps them to have that time to think and vent, and then I can collect the papers and address many of the questions/concerns they have right away.

    I teach at a year-round school, so all of the students already know each other (with maybe 2-3 new kids), which makes ice breakers a bit tricky. I have done a few different kinds because if gives me a chance to see how the students interact with one another.
     
  15. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 29, 2008

    Classroom puzzle

    CLASSROOM PUZZLE
    “We All Fit Together”
    Prior to the first day, take a large sheet of white drawing paper and cut it into puzzle pieces so that each child will have their own. During the first day, distribute a piece to each student and have them decorate it with their name and designs/decorations of their choice. When several of the students have completed theirs have them begin to reconstruct the puzzle on the floor. The students, some of who may not know each other, begin to work together, discussing where the various pieces go. As other students finish their piece, they are welcomed to the group because another hole can be filled in. The students are working together cooperatively the entire time. You begin to see who tends to take charge, hang back, etc. When the puzzle has been completed, you include the heading which says “We All Fit Together” Staple the puzzle together and make a bulletin board out of it. The puzzle stays up for the entire year, and we take it apart on the last day of school. If a student moves away, we take their piece out, leaving a hole. If a new student moves in, the hole can be filled with a new piece they design. Leave an empty space, explain that our class always has room for others. This is a great group building activity… TIP: Make sure that you draw an arrow in pencil to indicate on each puzzle piece which way is up. This way, students will not draw on an upside down puzzle piece!!!!
    PLAYDOUGH ---put some play dough on each desk for students to make anything they want ---while you are greetings parents and dealing with the crying and tears.
    have the students write 3 things about themselves that they think no one else knows. each thing should be written on a different sheet of paper, then you give them like 15 seconds to have a snowball fight. when you say stop, they pick up the 3 closest pieces of paper and they have to guess who each one goes to...
    LOLLIPOP BUDDIES:
    Purchase lollipops and put one on each student’s desk (make sure no more than two students have the same flavor). When the students come in, they find the person who has the same lollipop as them, Pass out interview sheet that “Lollipop Buddies” must complete. After the sheet has been completed by both buddies, they introduce each other to the class, and read about themselves to the class.
    1. Name
    2. Favorite Hobby
    3. Number of brothers and sisters
    4. Pets
    5. Most treasured possession
    6. Favorite book
    7. Favorite TV show
    8. Favorite sport.
     
  16. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2008

    WOW - great ideas, hescollin! I am going to use them :)
     
  17. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 29, 2008

    First Day Jitters is a great book.
     
  18. ILuvKaliNJay

    ILuvKaliNJay Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2008

    TP

    As students are first entering the door on the first day I keep a roll of toilet paper in my hand and ask them to tear off as much as they think they are going to need. As you can imagine, they look at me hesitantly and even with fear in their eyes LOL. Of course some even refuse at first, but I continue to insist until they take at least one square. Later on that morning, I have students get their toilet paper sheets out and count the number of squares. Each student is then required to tell that many things about themself. For example if a student has 3 squares, she would share 3 things about herself.

    Another fun game I like to play is a name game. Students must come up with a word that describes them or an object that they like that starts with the same first letter/sound in their names. They are then asked to come up with a movement that matches the word. We then stand in a circle and each student places the word in front of his/her name and shows us his/her movement. For example if a student chooses Apple Annie, she might would pretend to bite into an apple. We all then repeat the word, name, and movement. We then repeat going around the circle until everyone has shared. Then the fun starts...we continue to go around and speed up faster each time. The kids LOVE it and so do I!!! Even on the very last day of school, I still find myself remembering the kids' words and movements LOL.
     
  19. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2008

    You can read Thank You, Mr. Falker and then have them write a letter to their teacher from the year before. If their teacher is still at the school you can also deliver them.
     
  20. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Jul 8, 2008

    Upsadaisy--that sounds like so much fun!

    We sit in a circle and someone starts by telling something about themselves. They have a ball of yarn/string (the wide colored works really well) they hold onto one end and throw it to anyone else in the circle. We end up with a really big web like structure. My teacher aide takes pics along the way and then one when we are done.

    I give a little talk about how like this web we are all connected to each other and depend on each other since we will spend so much time together. And usually they like the final web the best and I tell them that we are all better off having each other hold up their end of the web (translate= participate and be a part of the class-hold up their end of the classroom covenant)
     

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