Icebreakers are an important part of creating a relaxed and comfortable environment when students are new to your classroom. Icebreakers can help students feel more comfortable with each other and get to know you in a fun and playful way. Finding activities that include everyone and encourage personal interaction will set a positive tone for the year.
What should you consider when planning icebreaker activities?
You’ll want to tailor your icebreaking activities to reflect the needs of your students. If they have all been in the same classes together for multiple years, you’ll want your activities to focus on aspects they may not already know about each other. You will also want to include more games or questions that will help them get to know you, as you are new to all of them.
If you teach a grade where several schools are all feeding into one, like a middle school or high school, you’ll want to focus more on letting the students get to know each other and find common ground while you also get to know each of them.
What are some good first-day-of-school activities?
One fun activity to introduce yourself to the class is to create a “quiz” with ten statements about yourself. Students listen to each statement and then guess if the fact is true or false. To make it even more fun, try and have statements that sound like they are true, but actually aren’t like “I have a pet cat.” Also, try to include the most unlikely facts about yourself as the “true” statements.
A variation on this activity is “Two Truths and a Lie” where you state three things about yourself and the students have to determine which of the statements is not true. You can invite each student to create one about themselves as well.
Having a classroom scavenger hunt is a great way for classmates to get to know each other. You will need to create or download a template with descriptions such as “owns a dog” or “went on vacation this summer” and make enough copies for all your students. Then set a specific amount of time and ask the students to find classmates who can initial ONE box that pertains to them.
No matter what icebreaker activity you decide to use, remember to keep the tone light and fun. Your class will begin to feel like a close-knit group before you know it!