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Dear Sarah - year 1 - first week getting to know you games

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by carso82, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Hi Sarah and everyone, i'm starting my first job next monday in an international school. I'm arriving late (due to visa) so my set up time is minimal. The first week will have filler games and activities to get to know the kids. I've never done anything like this so can anyone give me any ideas for games and activities I would be really appreciative.

    So nervous at this stage
  2. Hi Sarah and everyone, i'm starting my first job next monday in an international school. I'm arriving late (due to visa) so my set up time is minimal. The first week will have filler games and activities to get to know the kids. I've never done anything like this so can anyone give me any ideas for games and activities I would be really appreciative.

    So nervous at this stage
  3. Someone emailed me these the other day- hope you can adapt some of these ideas-

    Ice Breakers

    'My name is and I like...' The think they like has to begin with the first letter of their name. Make it subject specific if you like ? e.g. all objects must be nouns, or geographical features. You start, then the person to your left introduces themself & you, next person themself the person on their right & you until the poor sod at the end has to remember all 'my name is & I like...' This always goes down well & they always remember the game. Otherwise you can end up with a class on 20 who know the names of the people they sit with & no-one else.

    Interview each other in pairs but come up with a list of very random questions to throw in to the interview like 'if you could have any car, what would it be, where would you go & who would you take?'/ 'Boxers or briefs?' & they write an article about their partner.

    Give students a statement e.g. ?find someone who can play the piano? and give them a set period of time in which to do it. To make it more subject specific, think of statements linked to your subject, such as 'find someone who speaks another language'.

    Try preparing pairs of cards of famous duos or names which go together: Arctic and Monkeys/Romeo and Juliet/ Tired and Emotional etc. Each person has a card and they have to find the person with the other half of their pair. They will mill around a lot but it is good fun. Each person then finds out 3 interesting facts about their partner (College subjects or previous school not allowed, and makes a brief introduction to the class)

    Stick a post-it note on each student's back with a famous person's name on it. It could be a writer, film star, band member or whatever. One person at a time is 'on', then the others have to ask questions to work out who that person is - but the 'on' person is only allowed to answer yes or no. This is fun and it's up to
    you to choose the people. You could try to look really cool and pick an indie
    band member but if most of the class turn out to be goths you're on a loser!

    Give the class the this kind of scenario: your house is about to burn down/ disappear in an antediluvian flood and you have 3 minutes to decide what one item (or three or fifteen or any number you like cos you're the teacher and you get to make that stuff up) you are going to salvage. Always good to know who in your class is the pet-lover.

    Ask students to empty 3 items out of their pockets/bags and getting them to introduce themselves using these props. Always highly entertaining when the only 3 items someone has got are a condom, a phone number and a chewable toothbrush. You also get to see who you will be beating all year for never having pen or paper...

    Give each student an A5 sheet with facts like '...... can play the piano' and the students have to walk round the room and fill in names then we have a quick report back session.

    Start a story such as 'yesterday when I went to town I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw....' and then go round the room and get each student to add one line spontaneously so it makes a funny story at the end.

    Make a 5 x 5 grid, like a bingo grid. Write "FREE" in the centre space. In all the other spaces, write things such as "Born in another county" "Is the youngest child in family," or "Elvis fan." Fill in all the grids with items of interest to the students, which probably leaves Elvis out. Run a copy for each person.
    The students are to get the signature of a person who meets the criteria for each section. You might want to implement a rule that a person can only sign another person's paper in two spots. The first person with a completed card wins.
    Don't forget to include the teacher. Put in something to which only YOU can answer yes. For example, for mine I put "married to a detective." My teammate put "adopted two children from Kazikstan" for hers.

    Divide students into groups of three or four. Give each group a large sheet of butcher paper and a different colour marker for each person. Have them draw a Venn diagram with an oval for each student. The students in each group are to discuss what their similarities and differences are. After the discussion, they are to fill in the diagram showing their similarities and differences.
    If a group has a hard time getting started, give them some guidance by asking questions such as, "What is your favorite music?", and ?When is your birthday?", "What sports do you like? or "Where were you born?"

    Divide the students into groups of 10 to 20, depending on the difficulty level you want. The more students in a group, the higher the level of difficulty. Give directions for the "data" groups are to use to "process" themselves. The more creative the "data" the more fun the "processing." Give prizes to the group who is the first to correctly process their data. Several rounds can be played in a short amount of time, depending on the size of the groups.

    Suggested "data" for this activity:
    · Alphabetical by best friend's first name
    · Alphabetical according to favourite food
    · Length of hair
    · Shoe size
    · Birthdays
    · Number of letters in last name
    · Length of thumb
    · For teachers, number of years taught

    Design a system for secretly identifying the "criminal" and the "cop." We used a deck of cards. You only need enough cards so each player may have one card. One card needs to be a jack--the criminal, and one needs to be an ace--the cop. All of the other cards should be below ten in rank. Let each person draw and keep a card, without showing it to anyone.
    The criminal needs to recruit other criminals by winking at them, but without getting caught by the cop. Any person who sees a wink is to wait a few seconds, so as not to be obvious, and then say, "I committed a crime." That person then turns in his card and is out of the game. Play continues until the criminal recruits all players without being caught by the cop, or the cop identifies the criminal. If the cop misidentifies the criminal, he loses the game.

    Each group member will need a 5" x 7" card for a name tag. Then give the following directions:
    1. Put your name in the centre of your card.
    2. In the upper left corner, write four things that you like to do.
    3. In the upper right corner, write your four favourite singers or groups.
    4. In the lower left corner, write your four favourite movies.
    5. In the lower right corner, write four adjectives that describe you.
    When everyone finishes, have them mingle with the group for a few minutes. Without talking, they are to read the upper left corner of the other group members' cards. When time is up, they are to find one or two people who are most like them and visit for a few minutes. When time is up, they are to mingle again reading the upper right corner of the other group members' cards. They then find the one or two people most like them and visit. Repeat with the lower left corner and lower right corner information.
    To make sure everyone visits with several people, you could implement a rule that no two people can be in the same group more than once.

    Divide the group into teams of 8 to 12 members. Have each person join right hands with another person in the group, but it has to be someone who is NOT standing immediately to the left or right. Then have each person join left hands with another person in the group, but it has to be someone who is NOT standing immediately to the left or right and someone other than before.
    Now the groups have to untangle themselves without letting go of hands. They may have to loosen their grips a little to allow for twisting and turning. They may have to step over or under other people. The first group to untangle their knot is the winner.

    SPECIAL NOTE: There are four possible solutions to the knot.
    1. One large circle with people facing either direction.
    2. Two interlocking circles.
    3. A figure eight.
    4. A circle within a circle.

    There is some preparation for this activity. On a slip of paper, write the name of an animal that makes an obvious noise. Create five to ten slips for each animal.
    Give each participant a slip of paper, but tell them to keep their animal a secret. The participants are to find the rest of their kind, but there is no talking. So how do they find the others? They have to make the noise of the animal. Once two of the same kind have found each other, they stay together to find more. Continue until all of the like animals have created one big group.
    Use Animal Scramble, but add a hint of danger by planting a couple of danger animals who if incorrectly approached can take you out of the game (snake, lion, tiger, etc). The last survivor of non-dangerous animals is winner (Non-dangerous animals need to gather say 4 of a kind to be safe in a pack; they can even fake being a dangerous animal but cannot take out anyone - someone catches onto this and the fun begins!)

    Participants introduce themselves and tell why they are there. Variations: Participants tell where they first heard about the class, how they became interested in the subject, their occupations, home town, favourite television program, or the best book they have read in the last year.

    Divide the class into pairs. Each person talks about him/herself to the other, sometimes with specific instructions to share a certain piece of information. For example, "The one thing I am particularly proud of is..." After five minutes, the participants introduce the other person to the rest of the class.

    Have students write down one or two adjectives describing themselves. Put these on a stick-on badge. Have class members find someone with similar or opposite adjectives and talk for five minutes with the other person.

    Have each person introduce themselves and then state something they have done that they think no one else in the class has done. If someone else has also done it, the student must state something else until he/she finds something that no one else has done.

    Each person writes on a blank index card one to three statements, such as favourite colour, interest, hobby, or vacations. Pass out cards so everyone gets someone else's card. Have that person find the person with their card and introduce themselves.

    People write a famous name on a piece of paper and pin it on someone else's back. Person tries to guess what name is pinned on his/her by asking others around the room yes or no questions. Variation: Use famous place instead of famous person.

    People introduce themselves and tell what they know about why they have their name (their mother wanted to name me after her great aunt Helen who once climbed Pike's Peak in high heels, etc.). It could be the first, middle or nickname.

    Ask the students to write down words or phrases that describe their feelings on the first day of school. List the responses on the blackboard. Then ask them to write down what they think you as the teacher are feeling this first day of class. List them on the blackboard in a second column and note the parallels. Briefly comment on your feelings and then discuss the joint student/teacher responsibilities for learning in the course.

    This works best for small groups or for each small group sitting together as a team (4-6 learners). Give the group a specific time (perhaps 5 minutes) to write a list of everything they all have in common. Tell them to avoid the obvious ("we're all taking this course"). When time is up, ask each group how many items they have listed. For fun, ask them to announce some of the most interesting items.

    ME TOO
    This also works best for small groups or foe each small group sitting together as a team (4-6 learners). Everyone in the group gets 10 pennies/toothpicks/scrap of papers, etc. The first student states something he/she has done (e.g. water skiing). Everyone else who has done the same thing admits it and puts one penny in the middle of the table. Then the second person states something (e.g. I have eaten frogs' legs). Everyone who has done it puts another penny in the centre. Continue until someone has run out of pennies.

    Cut string or yarn into pieces of different lengths. Each piece should have a matching piece of the same length. There should be enough pieces so that each student will have one. Then give each student one piece of string, and challenge each student to find the other student who has a string of the same length. After students find their matches, they can take turns introducing themselves to one another. You can provide a list of questions to help students "break the ice," or students can come up with their own. You might extend the activity by having each student introduce his or her partner to the class.

    On the first day of school, gather all the students from a grade level in a large common area. Give each student a slip of paper with the name of an animal on it. Then give students instructions for the activity: They must locate the other members of their animal group by imitating that animal's sound only. No talking is allowed. The students might hesitate initially, but that hesitation soon gives way to a cacophony of sound as the kids moo, snort, and giggle their way into groups. The end result is that students have found their way into their homerooms or advisory groups for the school year, and the initial barriers to good teamwork have already been broken.

    Begin by asking students "Who can do something really well?" After a brief discussion about some of the students' talents, pass out paper and ask students to write down five things they do well. Then provide each student with five different-coloured paper strips. Have each student write a different talent on separate paper strips, then create a mini paper chain with the strips by linking the five talents together. As students complete their mini chains, use extra strips of paper to link the mini chains together to create one long class chain. Have students stand and hold the growing chain as you link the pieces together. Once the entire chain is constructed and linked, lead a discussion about what the chain demonstrates -- for example, all the students have talents; all the students have things they do well; together, the students have many talents; if they work together, classmates can accomplish anything; the class is stronger when students work together than when individual students work on their own. Hang the chain in the room as a constant reminder to students of the talents they possess and the benefits of teamwork.

    Ahead of time, write a series of getting-to-know-you questions on slips of paper -- one question to a slip. You can repeat some of the questions. Then fold up the slips, and tuck each slip inside a different balloon. Blow up the balloons. Give each student a balloon, and let students take turns popping their balloons and answering the questions inside.

    This is a good activity for determining your students' note-taking abilities. Tell students that you are going to share some information about yourself. They'll learn about some of your background, hobbies, and interests from the 60-second oral "biography" that you will present. Suggest that students take notes; as you speak, they should record what they think are the most important facts you share. When you finish your presentation, tell students that you are going to tell five things about yourself. Four of your statements should tell things that are true and that were part of your presentation; one of the five statements is a total fib. This activity is most fun if some of the true facts are some of the most surprising things about you and if the "fib" sounds like something that could very well be true. Tell students they may refer to their notes to tell which statement is the fib. Next, invite each student to create a biography and a list of five statements -- four facts and one fib -- about him or herself. Then provide each student a chance to present the 60-second oral biography and to test the others' note-taking abilities by presenting his or her own "fact or fib quiz." You can have students do this part of the activity in small groups.

    Here's a variation on the previous activity: Organize students into two groups of equal size. One group forms a circle equally spaced around the perimeter of the classroom. There will be quite a bit of space between students. The other group of students forms a circle inside the first circle; each student faces one of the students in the first group. Give the facing pairs of students two minutes to share their 60-second oral "biographies." While each student is talking, the partner takes notes. After each pair completes the activity, the students on the inside circle move clockwise to face the next student in the outer circle. Students in the outer circle remain stationary throughout the activity. When all students have had an opportunity to share their biographies with one another, ask students to take turns each sharing facts and fibs with the class. The other students refer to their notes or try to recall which fact is really a fib.

    I AM NOT!
    Here's a challenging activity that might help high school teachers learn about students' abilities to think critically. Send students into the school hallways or schoolyard, and ask each to find something that "is completely the opposite of yourself." Option: To widen the area to be explored, provide this activity as homework on the first night of school. When students bring their items back to class, ask each to describe why the item is not like him or her. You'll get a lot of flowers, of course, and students will describe how those flowers are fragrant or soft or otherwise unlike themselves. But you might also get some clever responses, such as the one from a young man who brought in the flip-top from a discarded can; he talked about its decaying outward appearance and its inability to serve a purpose without being manipulated by some other force (and how he was able to serve a purpose on his own).

    In this activity, each student selects a container of a reasonable size that represents some aspect of his or her personality or personal interests, such as a football helmet or a saucepan. Ask students to fill that object with other items that represent themselves -- for example, family photos, CDs, dirty socks, a ballet shoe -- and bring their containers back to school. Students can use the objects in the containers as props for three-minute presentations about themselves. The teacher who provided this idea suggests that you model the activity and encourage creativity by going first -- it's important for students to see you as human too! She included in her container a wooden spoon because she loves to cook, a jar of dirt because she loves to garden, her son's first cowboy boot, a poem she wrote, a rock from Italy because she loves to travel, and so on. You'll learn much about each student with this activity, and it will create a bond among students. As each student gives a presentation, you might write a brief thank-you note that mentions something specific about the presentation so that each student can take home a special note to share with parents. It might take a few days to give every student the opportunity to share.

  4. ^^ Credits go to ChocolateHeaven for them by the way! ^^

  5. thanks a lot
  6. Hi

    Jsut wanted to say many (many..) thanks for that post. I think you may have saved me hours of trying to find 'fun' activities. Much appreciated.

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