Monday, September 04, 2006

First Day of School

The following is something I found when looking for Icebreakers for the first day!....

First-Day-of-School Icebreakers Help Students and Teachers Warm Up!

Are you looking for the perfect way to get to know your students and help them get to know one another? You'll find it here! This week, Education World offers more than 15 creative icebreakers from our readers.

This is the Education World story that won't quit! Each year at this time, creative teachers share with Ed World readers their favorite first-day-of-school activities. Each year, Ed World readers respond by sharing new ideas! This year, we're pleased to share 19 brand-new, teacher-tested ideas for getting to know your new students!


Like many teachers, Suzanne Meyer feels compelled to use part of the first day of classes to "lay down the law." She shares her plans for the year ahead as well as class rules and expectations. A few years ago, however, Meyer, the K-12 instructional technology coordinator in the Hilton (New York) Central School District, decided to turn the tables.

"After doing my 'routine,' I asked students for their expectations of me," Meyer told Education World. "For three years in a row, I have found that this approach builds powerful bridges to understanding between me and my students.

"Because adolescents are in 'take in' mode early in the school year, you

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will have their undivided attention as they try to size you up," suggested Meyer. "Tell them you're interested in their opinions and you're asking them these questions as a way of finding out about their learning styles and preferences. Ask them to write, using as much detail as possible, their responses to questions, such as

  • Now that I've told you my expectations of a good student, what are your expectations of a good teacher?
  • Tell me about the best teacher you've ever had. What made that person such a good teacher?
  • Now that I've told you some of my ideas about how we will go about learning this year's material, tell me about how you learn best. Give me an example of a project or unit where you learned a lot. Describe the project in detail.
"I passed this idea on to other friends and have gotten very good feedback about how it sets up a positive dynamic right from the beginning of the school year," added Meyer. "The students' writing will also surprise and amuse you, and you can use responses as a follow-up the next day when you launch into the work and fun of learning with a new group of students."

1 comment:

goddess said...

This year I did an activity with the students the first day that I learned when I took some acting classes. Basically we "passed the beat." One person starts and has to make eye contact with the person they are "passing the beat" to and have to clap together. Then that person turns to the person next to them and they clap together. The goal is to get a steady beat going around a circle. Once that is established the motion can be reversed or passed across the circle. It can also be sped up or slowed down. It worked really well the first day with getting everyone to use body language to communicate. It loosed them up and they thougth it was "fun." For me it worked to stimulate learning and build schema.