Does anyone have any ideas or activities that would be a great introduction/ice breaker to class on the first day? This will be my first year teaching and I want this lesson to be fun for everyone!
You could get a bag of M&M's or Skittles and prepare a question for each color and when the students enter the class give them a some candy. Make sure they don't eat them before the activity!! Then you could demonstrate by answering the questions for yourself then go around the room until all have been introduced then the best part is they can eat the candy once everyone has gone. You could also have a roll of toilet paper and they can choose how many sheet they want but the key is for every sheet they must tell a fact about themselves. This could be somewhat wasteful. And then there is always a scavenger hunt with the classmates. For example a student should find someone who has a swimming pool or find a student who has a garden and then have that student sign their name. This gets them up out of the chair, moving and interacting with others. I hope these help!
Matt mentioned a scavenger hunt with the other students. I call this Human Bingo, and I've attached the sheet I use. Good luck!
You can group the students into 3 or 4 person groups and have an in class scavenger hunt. You can list common school items, common accessories (belts, bracelets, keys) just to get them up and moving in the class.
Or, you can group students and come up with some questions for them to answer as a group. Such as name 3 things in common among the group members that don't relate to the town they live in, the Ag. class they are in or the school they go to. Also you could have them add up the combined mileage each group traveled on their vacations this year and see which group went the farthest.
Good luck, let me know if you have any questions,
Excellent question. Kudos to you for trying to make the first day exciting and interesting. A couple of years ago, before CoP was invented, I posted this exact same question on the US Ag Ed listserve. One of my favorite activities that came back as a reply was the pig drawing personality test.
So basically you have the students draw a picture of a pig. Give no other parameters other than that. Don't tell them why either, just say "draw a pig, however you want". Give them about 5 minutes, provide colored pencils on the tables for them to use.
Then tell them that the way the the pig was drawn might indicate their personality type. Below is an excerpt of what the drawing means. You can also do a google search pig personality test to get more information. It's fun and actually fairly accurate.
The pig drawing serves as a useful test of the personality traits of the drawer.......
Another thing I do is a classroom scavenger hunt, similar to the previous posts except it's an actual scavenger hunt using the classroom/school area. I also would use scavenger hunts for different classroom lessons (tree ID, plant parts, habitat, etc.) The classroom scavenger hunt is a great tool for getting students acquainted with the various resources in the room. I have attached the one I used for your convenience.
Lastly, in my Aquaculture class we did a version of "guess the saying". Students randomly and anonymously picked a saying related to water out of a hat. They were given 5 minutes to draw a picture of the saying, example "Water, Water everywhere and not a drop to drink". Then they laid their pictures out in the room with their initials on the front and were given a key with all the sayings on them. Students went around the room and tried to match the drawing and the saying. At the end each student stood up and shared their picture and we talked about the meaning of the saying. You could easily adapt this by simply putting a variety of sayings into the hat rather than just water ones. I have attached the materials for this as well.
Also, if you are interested I have attached my standard first day of class outline, I didn't always follow the outline the first day sometimes I would spread the components over the first week. I taught on an 83 minute block starting day one. I tried to make sure that no matter what my first day was a mix of active and passive learning.
Have a great year. Keep posting questions. I only wish CoP was available when I was a first year teacher.
I used this activity as a student. Thanks for reminding me I will be sure to use it in my classroom.
We did a "speed chatting" activity at a teacher mentoring seminar today that I'm going to use for some of my classes on the first day.
Here's the way it works:
Arrange students in two lines facing each other so that everybody has a partner (visualize speed dating). Each round the students will have a question to discuss with their partner for an allotted amount of time. Examples for the first day could be: What did you do for fun this summer? What is your favorite hobby?
Then at the end of each round one line shifts down one person so everybody gets a new partner and a new question to discuss.
This activity is fast-paced, a lot of fun, and gives the students the chance to move around and talk a little bit. It would also be great for discussing review question before a test, etc.
I am going to try these two.
Category game: 1. Divide group in half and organize teams so they are standing in 2 lines facing each other. 2. Announce a category. 3. The team organizes themselves alphabetically by first names as quickly as possible. 4. The winning team is the one that organizes themselves the quickest. 5. Keep the game goinf for as many categories as you like. (birthday- chronologically, birthplace (alphabetically), height, etc...
Find My Twin Bingo: Everyone has a blank bingo card. They will write in the squares their interests, hobbies, what they like to do in their spare time, etc... then everyone will go around and write the name of another student who also has the same hobby or interest on their card. Whoever has the most "twins" wins.
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