On the first day of school, there is always the awkward silence during the extended homeroom period. As an ice-breaker, I use a scavenger hunt that gets students interacting and moving around. Each student gets a copy of the scavenger hunt and we mingle around the room for 10-20 minutes to complete it.
Here are the rules I give them first:
- You must get every block signed.
- You must ask the person in the form of a question, “Jack, do you like to skateboard?”
- The person must sign his or her own name.
- You can only have a person sign two blocks on the paper.
Here is the unspoken rule that it takes them awhile to figure out:
- You can ask the teacher questions too.
I also do this activity in my resource room, which has pretty low numbers. Last year, I only had five students so I put this up on the SMARTBoard and we took turns signing our names to different blocks.
This activity is fun and it is informative. I can see who is shy and who is out-going. I can learn a little about the students and they learn a little about me. I make mental notes so I can strike up conversations later and make connections with kids. “So you are the oldest, huh? I am too. Are you the most responsible one in your family? Do you feel like your parents are more lenient with your younger siblings?”
Here is a Word version of this Scavenger Hunt so you could modify it to fit your class.
What ice-breakers do you do on the first day of school?
How do you get to know your students?
What is the most important thing you want to know about your students?