Icebreaker

  1. I tell my students that I want them to line up by the day of their birth, in chronological order from January 1 to December 31.

2. Then I tell them they can’t talk while they do it! Students use a combination of sign language, charades, and all ten fingers (and sometimes toes!) to line themselves up in order.

 

 

3.Once they have achieved the task, I have them do it again but in opposite order, from December 31 to January 1. This time, however, they are allowed to talk to each other.

Afterward, we discuss how a team task can be completed more quickly when people communicate with each other.
This activity can also be done with first or names in alphabetical order, height, shoe size, etc.

 

ACTIVITY 2

Creating a time capsule the first week of school is a great way to reflect on the changes when it gets revisited during the last week of school. You can create one big time capsule or individual student time capsules that you store.

Here is what I plan to put inside this year:

    • first day of school picture
    • biography that includes current height, favorites, and three goals for the school year
    • a letter each student writes to their future (end-of-the-school-year) self
    • any trinkets students want to put in that represent themselves at the current point in time. This often includes pictures of best friends and boy bands, sport medals, little toys, etc.

 

Activity 3

What Do We Have in Common? Card Towers

Students were broken randomly into groups of four. Each group was given a stack of index cards and a challenge:

Build the tallest card tower in the class! The catch? Before you could add a card to the tower, you had to write something on it that every member of the team had in common. As more cards were added, the commonalities tended to stretch a bit (we’ve all had water to drink), but it was all in the name of teamwork.