6 Classroom Ice-breakers to Start the Year
These classroom ice-breaker activities are fun and a great way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year. They also provide an opportunity for peers to learn about each other. You will find at the bottom of the page, a link to download the printables completely free. Great for first day of school activities.
This is an ideal activity for young students who haven't mastered their writing skills yet. Have students sit in a circle with the teacher sitting in the centre. The teacher holds a large, soft, ball and says something about herself i.e. My name is Miss Tesar and I have a pet dog called Snoopy. The teacher then rolls the ball to a student and they tell their name and something about themselves. Continue the game until each student has had a turn. You may like to choose a specific topic like, favourite food, favourite book, name of pet, or what they like to do. This activity is great for relieving anxiety for any students nervous about their first days of school and leaving their parents.
This is an easy activity that can be played while students are seated at their desks. Allow them to move their chair out from under their desks slightly as they will be standing up and sitting down. Then the teacher asks a series of questions such as:
If you like cricket, stand up.
If you have a sister, sit down.
If you have a pet, stand up.
If you have a brother, sit down.
If you like ice cream, stand up.
If you are in year 2, sit down.
This is a fun activity students can play while seated at their desks. The teacher starts by introducing herself, e.g., my name is Miss Tesar but if I swap the first sounds I would be Tiss Mesar. Each student then introduces themselves with their name and then their spoonerism name. Mark Smith would be Smark Mith, Cooper Hogan would be Hooper Cogan, and so on.
Note: Spoonerisms are like slips of the tongue and are named after Dr. William Archibald Spooner, who often got his words mixed up. Spoonerisms are also a requirement of the Australian Curriculum.
Students can fill out a questionnaire providing information about their favourite foods, football team, how many brothers and sisters they have, if they live in town or on a farm etc. These can be stored in a container (a Pringles chip container would work well) and keep the information stored until the end of the year. At the end of the year provide the students with the same questionnaire to fill out again. Then give students the originals and compare the answers.
We already have a questionnaire done for you and a wrapper for a Pringles' cylinder.
Our Happy Class
Start the year off on a positive note. Talk about what a wonderful and happy year it is going to be. Mention some of the fun activities you will be doing and the fun things you will be learning together. Tell the students that you would like to know what makes them happy. Give each student a happy face which they can cut out and write their name on and what makes them happy. When finished discuss some of the things that make them happy and then post their work around the classroom. You could even peg it to some string and make ‘happy face’ bunting.
We have included a happy face printable.
Discuss with students what is appropriate and unacceptable behaviour in the classroom. Write down their suggestions which you can then use to create a class rules poster. Children are more inclined to follow and understand the rules when they are involved. Try using positive language or alternatives to bad behaviour so students know what is expected, e.g. In class we walk or In class we use quiet voices...try to avoid "don't" or "do not".