As we approach fall 2020, many high schools, colleges, and universities are still grappling with their attendance and teaching plans.
Of course, we’re all yearning deeply for a return to normal and face-to-face interactions in the classroom and beyond. At the start of a new school year or semester, first-day icebreakers are key for you and your students to learn more about each other and who they’ll be sharing the classroom with.
If your school opts for remote teaching, here are some digital and remote icebreaker activities that you can try with your students.
Intros . . . in 10 words or less
Each student introduces themselves in 10 words or less.
Your Favorite Local Business . . . and Why
Ask students to think about their lives (pre-pandemic) and quickly articulate their favorite local business. And, have them reflect on why it’s their favorite? Is there something specific that the local business does that resonates with the student?
Your Favorite National Brand . . . and Why
Ask students to name their favorite national brand or business, and quickly explain their affinity for the brand or business.
Good Book You’ve Read . . . or Netflix
Students can talk about a book they’ve read over the summer. If your students have been binging more than reading, you can easily switch this to having them mention their favorite Netflix or streaming series of the summer.
Any New Quarantine Habits?
Have your students developed any new quarantine habits? They can quickly explain their new habits.
One Minute Meditation
While not exactly an icebreaker or a chance to interact with your new students, it may help to center your students with a meditation/deep breathing exercise as they begin remote learning. It’s an opportunity to encourage them to quiet their minds. There are numerous meditations/deep breathing videos available online that you can play via your video teaching platform. Two or three minutes of mindfulness and deep breathing can have a calming effect for your entire class.
Allow each student to take control of the video streaming tool you’re using, and play one minute of their favorite song from YouTube. Only clean versions allowed, of course.
If you’re feeling super adventurous, you could try some remote classroom karaoke to break the ice. You’ll either break the ice or forever be remembered for your attempt at Don’t Stop Believin’. Here’s one guide on karaoke using Zoom.