October 21, 2020 0

Break the ICE with these Cool Ideas from Teachers

Games, Journaling, Simulations & More

·      This or That

·      Dry Erase Board Questions – Students get excited to do it and engages those at home with cameras off.

·      Nature of Science Puzzle or Mindset paper. They are both hands-on activities, build problem-solving skills, allow students to see other struggle that maybe do not normally struggle. I also like to use these as intros into how science class works: We may think we have it all figured out and then a twist is thrown at us and we have to figure out how to make it fit in with our current understandings.

·      2 Truths and a Lie. It’s a fun way to get to know students.

·      Scavenger Hunt because the students get to find specific things out about their classmates and begin to feel a connection.

·      This year, it was having students create their own virtual lockers and share them with the class. This was a good way to have students tell about themselves.

·      My favorite icebreaker is giving kids a hydro flask to design with stickers that tell about themselves.

·      Four corners or stations. Anything to get them up and moving.

·      Brain pop. It’s short and the students love it.

·      About You Scavenger Hunt – This gets every student on their feet and sparks up interesting conversations with peers they are unfamiliar with! It’s so fun and you learn interesting things about each other!

·      Science Review Games – The kids love a good competition.

·      We practice doing skills like dancing, singing, crafts, etc!

·      Blobs and Lines – quick way to find out who has something in common with you in the classroom and gets kids moving around the room.

·      No games.  I take them outside for birding/citizen science.

·      Student Scavenger Hunt because it gets the kids up and moving while getting to know each other.

·      My favorite ice breaker is the Toilet Paper Square Share. You have students' attention when you tell them at the door and take what you need (holding a roll of TP in your hand)! After some giggles and the directions, students enjoy sharing the funny tidbits with one another in class. The last detail or last square is always the what's a boring fact about yourself and you learn so much about your students. I love this question, too, because you create a comfortable environment that enables honesty, discussion and learning!

·      I love doing the sides of the room where you make a declarative statement and the kids line up by how much they agree with it.

·      engineering design challenge or breakout.edu game

·      Craziest Dream – This is my favorite ice breaker because it allows students to share their dreams with others in a safe space.  It helps them to realize that their dreams aren't in fact crazy and allows their classmates to support them and get to know them better at the same time.

·      I use Google Slides to recreate the game 4 pics, 1 phrase. Each student adds a picture to the slide and they all have to use one phrase to summarize/describe the pictures. I love this icebreaker because you can learn so much about a student's personality based on the image/picture they select. Most have a great sense of humor!

·      I like the picture and meme drop ice breaker! This allows students to drop a picture or meme that describes something about them, and they are able to be as goofy and informative as they want.

·      Get to know you Bingo. Kids get competitive and you get to learn a lot about each other.

·      5E Engage Simulations and Questions

·      Who is your favorite villain, and why?  At the freshmen and sophomore level the students are beginning to understand the vagaries of morality.  Having them root for a villain allows them to explore character motivations in a new way.  It's also usually a question they haven't been asked before.

·      Saving Fred because it is fun to watch the kids work together to save the worm.

·      Mindsnacks – Gets the kids to think deeply.

·      Snowball fight…kids anonymously write things on the snowball they pick up about another student and then they throw it…it’s fun and lets kids be kind in ways they do not normally get to…I have seen the best stuff written in those balled up papers over my years.

·      What's something you hope to learn and a fun fact about you?

·      Run if you agree with this statement. It lets kids know that they have things in common with their classmates.

·      What's in the Bag Activity – Fun to give students a bag of mystery items and let them come up with questions to help figure out what might be in the bag.

·      Three things in common – Small groups must identify three things that they have in common with each other – the stranger, the better. Put prompts on the board, then give students time to talk. Later, students report back and vote on which group has the strangest three things in common. This a great way to make students feel comfortable working with new partners.

·      Show a Phenomena and ask for initial thoughts.

·      Playing Jackbox Party Pack Games since it's fun and silly.

·      Would you rather is my favorite.  It allows students to move to opposites of the room for different questions, which lets them see that they have some things in common with everyone in class.

·      The Floor Is Lava! Students have to problem solve together to complete tasks. It gets them up and moving, communicating, and cooperating right off the bat.

·      Human Scavenger Hunt. The students get a list of things and they have to go around the classroom and find a classmate that might possess one of the things from the list (i.e. Find a classmate who has a brother, Find a classmate who is left handed, Find a classmate who was born in a different state, etc.). The kids love it!

·      Investigate, as this is one aspect that creates curiosity and inquisitiveness in the student. There is no right or wrong answer. This makes the students open up their thoughts and ideas to the topic of investigation. This can be done as a physical lab or even done remotely through a video or simulation.

·      I love showing discrepant events then asking students to do a claim evidence reasoning (#CER) as we learn how science plays a role.

·      Online Simulation Labs

·      question that they answer in their science journals focusing on synthesizing the learning from the previous day and the homework, which sets us up to extend learning on the current day.

·      Grab a Color – Students find something in their house of the color that you specify and then they have to tell the class why they chose it. (Zoom classes)

·      I love starting the class with an interesting question that has to do with the topic we are discussing, but is relevant to everyday life.

·      Bag of M & M's – You can start a lot of good data decisions from a simple bag.

·      Discussions because they let you into the mind of the child.

·      Journal entries. It gives everyone a way to switch their thinking to the topic of the day, it is by nature differentiated, and provides both the student and the teacher longitudinal insight.