Tuesday, August 18, 2015

10 Back to School Ice Breakers Your Students Will Love

10 Back to School Ice Breakers Your Students Will Love: Two Truths and a Lie, Would You Rather, My No Good, Very Bad Day, Fear Factor 4-Corner Activity, Marshmallow Challenge, Super Sleuths, What Would You Do?, Have You Ever?, Find Someone Who..., My Favorite Things.
Ice Breakers.  The bane of a teacher's existence during the first week of school.  You have a bazillion things to cross of your list to get ready, you meet with your team, and you discuss which ice breakers you want to incorporate during the first week.  What did we do last year?  Do you remember?  Those are frequent questions tossed around in this first meeting of teachers who still are transitioning from summer to school mode.

Try these 10 Back to School Ice Breakers that your students will love!  These activities cover different areas of thought, so students do not feel like they are repeating the same information with each ice breaker.  Students have fun, they get to know each other, you get to know them, AND you save time to cross other things off your list.  It's a win-win for everyone!

Two Truths and a Lie is one of my favorite back to school activities!  It's always so fun, even as a teacher, to try to guess which statement is the lie. You can really find out some interesting tidbits about your students with this one.  You can also use this activity with clickers to have students vote on which statement they believe was the lie.


Would You Rather... can be conducted by having students get up and move to different sides of the room based on what they would rather do in each scenario.  This allows students to really visualize how many would pick one choice over the other.  The best part of this activity is the classroom discussion that will be generated.


My No Good, Very Bad Day is a spin on the classic Skittles Ice Breaker.  The student shares one of the worst experiences he/she has had based on the color of the Skittle.  Students can share in small groups rather than in front of the entire class to make even the quietest student more comfortable.


This Fear Factor Ice Breaker is a 4-Corner Activity.  Students are presented with different phobias in the form of the "Are you afraid of.." question.  Students then vote on how afraid (or not afraid) they are of the various things by moving to the different corners of the room.


The Marshmallow Challenge is a fantastic team builder that is great for any subject area or age group even though this is a STEM activity.  This activity does require some prep ahead of time, but it is so worth it!  Read more about this activity on this blog post.



Super Sleuths can be differentiated based on the grade level.  Students write down three personal characteristic clues that their peers could use to identify them.  Younger students can write down more obvious clues (color of shirt) while older students can be more detailed (freckle on my left cheek).  Shuffle the cards and allow students to be detectives to determine who matches the clues!


What Would You Do is another take on the classic Skittles Ice Breaker.  This time, students are asked to share what they would do in different situations - say, for example, if they were president.  This is a more introspective ice breaker that really encourages students to think!


Have You Ever?  is an interactive game where students are presented with a range of questions - from common experiences to create bonds among students to uncommon to allow students to stand out and create discussion.  Students move to one side of the room or the other based on if they have or have never experienced the proposed scenario.


Find Someone Who... allows students to mingle with each other around the room to find people who fit each experience.  It's always fun to see who can gather the most signatures on their sheet or completes the entire sheet the fastest.



My Favorite Things is an ice breaker that uses M&Ms.  Students pick out three differently colored M&Ms that they will eventually find out corresponds to a favorite thing prompt.  Students can share aloud in small groups or as a whole class.







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