Showing posts with label Icebreakers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Icebreakers. Show all posts

Friday, August 21, 2020

A Comics Activity as an Icebreaker

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on this blog. 

As the new school year begins you may find yourself looking for some new ways to conduct icebreaker activities. One thing you can try is having students create avatars for themselves then talk about their designs. Then after making those avatars you might have them design a little comic to tell a story. Pixton EDU offers tools for doing both of those things.

In Pixton EDU you and your students can create characters to represent yourselves. Once you've done that you can use Pixton EDU's free Truth-or-Lie activity. Truth-or-Lie is designed as an ice-breaker or familiarization activity for your class. In the activity students create a short comic strip in which they tell a truth or a lie. They then share those comics with  you and their classmates who have to guess if the comic represents a truth or a lie.



Pixton EDU is currently running a back-to-school offer. That offer gives you 15% off their annual premium plan with this link. To be clear, everything in this blog post can be done without the premium plan.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

500+ Icebreaker Questions

Believe it or not we're closer to the start of the new school year than we are to the end of the last one. Whether we're going back into our physical classrooms or staying in an online environment, we're going to need to get to know our new students and they need to get to know each other. One way to do this is through asking fun icebreaker questions. If you've run through all of your common icebreaker questions and want some new ones to try, take a look at Icebreakers.io.

Icebreakers.io offers lists of icebreaker questions. The questions are arranged in categories for small groups, for introverts, for adults, for work, and for fun. Coming soon they'll have lists specifically for school settings. All of the questions can be viewed individually and copied. You can also download the lists of questions in convenient PDFs.

Applications for Education
I looked through the lists on Icebreakers.io and found plenty that I would feel comfortable posing to students in my classroom, in a Zoom meeting, or in Google Classroom to start a discussion. I'm looking forward to seeing the school questions list that Icebreakers.io is building.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Couple of Good Places to Find Icebreaker Activities

Every year at about this time I get a handful of requests for ideas for icebreaker activities. In fact, I found of one of those requests this morning in my inbox. Here are the two sites that come to the top of my mind when I'm asked for places to find icebreaker activities for classrooms.

Icebreakers.ws is an online catalog of dozens of fun icebreaker and team builder activities. The activities are categorized by group size and activity type. To find an activity appropriate for your group just select your group's size then use the activity type key to find "get-to-know-you games," "team building games," or "active (break a sweat) games."

How Do You Play? is a free site that offers directions on how to play icebreaker games, team building games, board games, card games, and many other in-person multiple player games. You can browse the games featured on the homepage or search through eight game categories for the game that you need the directions to.

Applications for Education
We often think of icebreaker and team-building activities as things we do at the beginning of the school year. But as we know, getting to know our students is an on-going process. The next time you're looking for a team building activity, take a look at Icebreakers.ws or How Do You Play?

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Try Using Icebreaker Tags at New Staff Orientation

The new school year is almost here and that means there will be new staff orientation meetings are happening everywhere. Rather than using generic name tags or ID badges for that first meeting, try using Icebreaker Tags. IceBreaker Tags is a free tool for making your name tags that can help people break out of the typical "what do you do?" questions that are asked when meeting for the first time.

To use Icebreaker Tags just go to the site, enter your desired display name, upload an image to display on your name tag, and type your ice-breaker question or statement. When you hit the print button your customized name tags will be displayed in a sheet of eight name tags that you can download and print on sticker paper (here's the kind I use).


On a related note, while looking for the sticker paper link mentioned above, I found these cool super hero name tags on Amazon.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Icebreakers and Discussion Starters with Nearpod and PollEverywhere

This week I am hosting some guest bloggers. This is a guest post from Pamela Levine. 

Using technology for ‘First Week of School’ activities serves multiple purposes: 1) conveying to students that their classroom is a place where learning will be engaging, 2) emphasizing the importance of expression and peer learning, and 3) providing safe, low-stakes opportunities to build skills and appropriate practices around our classroom technologies.

I’ve had many First Weeks of School: in elementary school classrooms (in Washington D.C.), in Massive Open Online Courses (at Stanford), and even in Tanzania (as a Peace Corps Volunteer). I currently teach rising educators at the Stanford Graduate School of Education to incorporate technology into their teaching in pedagogically-sound ways. Below are two First Week of School activities using Nearpod and PollEverywhere that can build classroom culture and help establish technology norms and routines.

“1+1=1” Icebreaker on Nearpod.
This icebreaker inspires creativity and collaboration while familiarizing students with Nearpod. 1+1=1 involves combining two objects to design and describe a new invention. Nearpod’s ‘Draw It’ tool is great for this activity: it gives students a canvas on which to draw and insert images, and enables me to collect and share their work in real-time. Students (and adults) get a kick out seeing each other’s 1+1=1 inventions projected on the screen. Alongside engaging with the activity, students learn processes for connecting to, interacting with, and submitting work on Neapod. I also use this time to establish device usage cues and norms (such as “screens up/screens down”). The 1+1=1 icebreaker is appropriate for students and adults of all ages. Give it a try here, and download a copy to use in your own class or presentation here.

Community Building Discussion Starters with PollEverywhere.
Student response systems like PollEverywhere can be a great way to create a safe environment for participation, provide teachers and students with instantaneous formative feedback, and catalyze discussion, debate, and peer learning.

During the first week of school, I familiarize students with PollEverywhere while probing for their expectations and concerns and crowdsourcing their ideas. PollEverywhere’s Word Cloud question type can reveal shared student perspectives on questions like “How can we make the classroom a safe space?” and “When have you felt particularly successful in school?” The Clickable Image question type can be used to collect responses to visual questions, like “Where along this continuum would you describe your communication style?” After surveying the students, I display and use their responses to facilitate dialogue by asking discussion questions like “What trends do you see?”, “What response(s) make you think about the question in a different way?”, or by having students explain and elaborate with a partner about their answer. I think the real educational value in deploying student response systems for teaching and learning comes from these active discussions that follow from using the technology.

There are a myriad of ways to use Nearpod and PollEverywhere for teaching and learning beyond the First Week of School. Using education technology for introductory activities like the ones above provide opportunities to communicate values, teach skills, and model behaviors so that students are prepared to participate with these tools during later lessons and tasks.

It’s been my pleasure to share on Free Technology for Teachers! I welcome your feedback and continued conversation @PossiblyPamela on Twitter and at www.pamela-levine.com. Have a great First Week of School this Fall!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dozens of Icebreaker Activities and Team Building Games

This morning on the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page someone asked me for recommendations for icebreaker activities. That question reminded me of Icebreakers.ws.  Icebreakers.ws is an online catalog of dozens of fun icebreaker and team builder activities. The activities are categorized by group size and activity type. To find an activity appropriate for your group just select your group's size then use the activity type key to find "get-to-know-you games," "team building games," or "active (break a sweat) games."

Applications for Education
We often think of icebreaker and team building activities as things we do at the beginning of the school year. But as we know, getting to know our students is an on-going process. The next time you're looking for a team building activity, take a look at Icebreakers.ws.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ice Breaker Tags - Creative Name Tags

Ice Breaker Tags is a simple service for designing simple yet unique name tags. To use the service just enter your desired display name, upload an image to display on your name tag, and type your ice-breaker question or statement. If you need help developing a creative ice-breaker question or statement, Ice Breaker Tags offers some suggestions to get you going. You can print your name tag directly from Ice Breaker Tags.

Applications for Education
In my school district in the spring before they come to high school the 8th grade students go for a visit to meet high school teachers and students. Ice Breaker Tags could be a nice way for students to create unique, personalized name tags for events like that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lots of Free Icebreaker and Team Builder Games

My friend Adam Bellow at EduTecher recently highlighted a great resource to have in your bookmarks at the beginning of a new semester or school year. Icebreakers.ws is an online catalog of dozens of fun icebreaker and team builder activities. The activities are categorized by group size and activity type. To find an activity appropriate for your group just select your group's size then use the activity type key to find "get-to-know-you games," "team building games," or "active (break a sweat) games."

Applications for Education
In two weeks I'll be getting a new group of students in my global studies course, I'll be looking through Icebreakers.ws to find a nice large group activity to help us all get to know each other.