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7 Awesome First-Day-Of-School Ice-Breakers For Teachers

The first day of school is a busy, exciting time for kids, teachers, and parents alike, but each year it can be a bit overwhelming as students meet their new educator for the first time. After teachers have prepared their rooms and lesson plans for the new school year, it’s important to start thinking about how they’ll make the kids comfortable and welcome on the first day. Here are some of the best ways to break the ice with new students.

  1. Prepare ahead of time

Before school starts, prepare a letter to students to introduce yourself. Include a plastic bag and challenge each student to fill it with things that represent their personalities, and do the same for yourself. On the first day, have everyone share what they filled their bags with so each student can get to know one another.

  1. Use technology to your advantage

Introduce the students to one another by having them create a brief podcast to share with the class, or invite them to participate in a Pinterest group where they’ll add pins representing things they love.

  1. Make it a holiday

Although New Year’s resolutions typically begin in January, they can be applied to the school year as well. Have each student write down one goal for the coming months; you can list them and hang them up so they won’t be forgotten as the weeks pass.

  1. Make it a game

Organize a quick game of “Who am I?” by writing the names of famous book and movie characters and historic figures on index cards and having each student tape the cards to their foreheads without looking at them. Pair everyone up and have them take turns guessing which character they are by asking descriptive questions with “yes” or “no” answers.

  1. Encourage communication skills

Encourage students to really talk to one another by splitting them into small groups and having them talk about the things they have in common and the things that set them apart from one another. Have them write down their common and unique qualities and share them with the class.

  1. Get creative

Bring a ball of yarn to school and sit everyone in a circle. Hold the yarn in your hands and say something about yourself, then throw it to someone across from you and have them do the same. Keep the ball going until everyone has shared something, then have everyone stand up and see the “web” you’ve created.

  1. Cooperative drawing

Divide the class up into pairs and have one student start a drawing, then have the other student finish it. Have each group talk about the finished drawing and share it with the class.

Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.

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