## Sunday, July 29, 2012

### Back to School

For the past 4 years I've taught eighth grade in a school set up with teams.  The kids are put onto a team in sixth grade and stay on that team for all three years.  This means by the time they got to me they knew each other very well (almost too well a lot of the time).  Because of this, there was no real need for icebreaker activities.

This year, I will be teaching in high school where most of the kids did not go to middle school together so I'm looking for some fun out of the ordinary getting to know you/teambuilding type activities.  I've got one or two things that I've used from time to time but I'm looking for more ideas!

If anyone has any suggestions on things that you've used, I'd love to hear!  Thanks!!

1. The math wiki has tons of stuff on it including a list of ice breakers and first day activities http://msmathwiki.pbworks.com/w/page/27159436/First%20Day

Also Jason http://alwaysformative.blogspot.com/2010/08/first-days.html and Kate http://function-of-time.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-first-days-of-school.html have really good posts too :) Hope these help!

1. Nice! I checked out those sites and they have some great ideas I've never heard of before.

2. Two truths and a lie is something kids would love. They make three statements and you have to guess which of the three is a lie.

1. Yes love this one! I've played it before, but never actually used it with kids yet, so I will certainly need to. Thanks!

3. I can't find a link but have you heard of clock partners? It combines an ice breaker with a functional partnering system throughout the year. You come up with ice breaker topics like "a person who has the same favorite color" and put these around a clock at each hour. When you find someone whose answer matches yours, you write your name on their paper for that hour and they write their name in that hour for you. Then later in the year when you need to break things up you can tell them to get with their 1:00 partner and then everyone is paired up randomly.

1. Great idea..I've heard of clock partners but I really like the idea that each pair has something in common, I haven't heard about that part. Cool!

4. In my 11th grade PAP pre-calc class, we (unfortunately) do not have time for icebreakers, so I embed some little things, especially during the first week of school. On day 1, I talk about the importance of knowing names, a good handshake, and eye contact, so I give the kids 5 min. to "correctly" introduce themselves to all of the people around them. At the end of the period, I ask them to tell at least 4 different people "Have a great first day of school,________ (name)!" On day 2, I randomly call on people and ask them to introduce all of their neighbors and talk about the importance of knowing names. On day 3, I ask kids to talk to their shoulder partner about the best thing about school so far... etc. Throughout the year, whenever we change the seating chart, I ask students to (re)introduce themselves and make certain they know all of their neighbors, and give them some kind of question. (What is your new neighbors' favorite type of food?)

If I do have time for something extra, I love the "True Colors" personality assessment. Here's a brief explanation, and the PDF also contains learning style info, which I saw on your ISN: www.theslideprojector.com/pdffiles/learnertypes.pdf

1. These are great...thanks so much!!

5. There is always the rock, paper, scissors game I showed you. I think anyone at any age would have fun with that one :)

1. For sure... your kids vs my kids finals via facetime on the smartboard would be epic

2. Um. YES!!!! We need to make this happen!