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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Get to Know You Activities!

Are you preparing and getting ready your Get to Know Activities?  Do your Icebreakers include you; in other words, breaking the ice with your students-how do you reveal your likes, dislikes, etc.?  What do you do the first couple of weeks to begin to build a strong bridge and beginning connections with your students?  Do your wear your best outfit on the 1st day too? (I wonder how many teachers buy "new school clothes.")

Here are a few activities that I have done with my students.  Hopefully, these Icebreakers will be transparent with many different ages and grades!
  1. Stringing Conversation Together-get some string and cut in in different lengths, but each length needs a pair.  If you do not have an even amount of students, make sure to cut three strings the same length.  Pass out the strings, making sure to mix-up the string lengths.  Next, tell the students they need to find someone who has the same length of string as they do!  They CANNOT talk at this time.  When everyone has found their partner, they need to find out three facts about that person (feel free to allow your students to write down the facts on a note card).  If necessary, modify the amount!  Finally, when all are ready, have them share their "String Conversations.
  2. A Tangled Web-Gather students in a circle sitting around you on the floor. Hold a large ball of yarn. Start by telling the students something about yourself. Then roll the ball of yarn to a student without letting go of the end of the yarn. The student who gets the ball of yarn tells his or her name and something good about himself or herself. Then the student rolls the yarn to somebody else, holding on to the strand of yarn. Soon students have created a giant web. After everyone has spoken, you and all the students stand up, continuing to hold the yarn. Start a discussion of how this activity relates to the idea of teamwork - for example, the students need to work together and not let others down. To reinforce the importance of teamwork, have one student drop his or her strand of yarn; that will demonstrate to students how the web weakens if the class isn't working together.
  3. Linking Together-Chain of Talents- give students 2-3 strips of paper that the write down a talent on.  When they have their talents written down, form a chain with their strips.  Next, lead a discussion about what the chain demonstrates.  For example, all the students have talents; all the students have things they do well.  Together, the students have many talents.   If they work together, classmates can accomplish anything; the class is stronger when students work together than when individual students work on their own. Finally, hang the chain in the room as a reminder to your students of the talents they possess and the benefits of teamwork.
  4. Snowballs-Have each student get a scrap piece of paper.  Next, have your students print a question on the piece of paper.  On a white board, Smartboard, etc. write a few questions as models-What is your favorite soup?  How many sisters do you have?  What is your favorite cold food?  Have each student show you their question.  When everyone is done, have them krinkle their paper up into a snowball.  Then count down from 10 and yell, "Snowball Snowstorm."  Everyone needs to throw their snowball.  Each student then picks up a snowball and reads the question aloud and answers the question!  Repeat as many times as you want!
  5. Time Box- This is a first and last day activity!  Type of a list of questions (the quantity depend upon your grade and the students' ages) that your students will answer.  How old are you?  What is your favorite thing to read about?  What color do you not like?  What is your favorite ice cream topping? Then have all your students share their answers!  "Bury" their papers in a box and then "bury" it somewhere in the class!  On the last day of class, pass out a new Time Box (the same one as the first day).  Have students complete them again.  Then unbury the previous Time Box and pass them out. Students can then compare their Time Boxes!  They are amazed at how many stayed the same, were different, and of course how much their spelling and handwriting improved!!! 
These are only 5 of my Icebreakers!  I do have a file of Get to Know You Activities!  It seems each year I rotate different ones in and out!  If you need more ideas or have a few to share, please leave a comment!  I'd love to hear what your do!  

Click on the picture to get a copy of my Time Box! 



Maria Eshman said...

I LOVE snowball!!!!! My kids really LOVED this one during our year. If I remember correctly, we did it with spelling words that were spelled right and ones that were spelled wrong. :)
Love your blog!!!! Thanks for visiting us over at Curious Firsties! We're new followers!!!

Teacher and Life Long Learner said...

It truly is a "snowy" time!! SMILES!