The following is a guest post by Shelly Terrell, an International Speaker, Author, Founder of 30Goals.com, and much more. Follow her on Twitter for more awesome inspiration, and check out her bio below!
Many students are dreading going back to school. However, your students will be pumped up and ready to learn with the icebreakers in this post. Icebreakers are engaging and fun. They help students learn about their teachers and peers. Most importantly, they break the ice and help students warm up to the rich learning they will encounter in your classroom! Students become more comfortable with speaking, participating and engaging in your class, because icebreakers aren’t graded so students don’t have to worry they will make mistakes or be evaluated right away.
The following icebreakers, include a digital twist thanks to Buncee to further excite your digital learners! Buncee has many features to help teachers and their students easily and quickly create digital slide presentations, posters, books, greetings, and interactive images. Learning comes alive with the ability to record and embed audio or video. Creativity is limitless with access to a library of stickers, gifs, clipart, graphics, fonts, backgrounds, templates, and more!
One idea is to design a Buncee presentation with several icebreaker questions. Pair students and have them face each other. On a projector or smartboard display the first slide with the first icebreaker question and set a timer for 2 minutes for the pairs to discuss. When the timer stops, students find a different partner to face and answer the next icebreaker question. Run this mingling activity as long as you’d like. Students enjoy the action and learning about their peers. Spice it up by getting the pairs to introduce themselves and high five each other or shake hands.
For each of the following icebreakers, students first create a Buncee presentation, image or poster. Then students present their Buncee creations to peers in pairs or small groups so they get to know each other.
A Window Into Me- Learners design a slide presentation displaying talents, hobbies, interests, traits, and favorites. Copy and adapt this Buncee template.
321 Things to Know About Me- In this presentation learners share 3 facts about themselves (ex. talents, pets, siblings, etc.), 2 favorites, and a dream job. Copy and adapt this Buncee template.
Me By the Numbers- Learners share facts, such as their birthdates, height, shoe size, number of pets, number of siblings, number of teeth, and any other interesting numbers about them they care to share, such as a collection or high scores on a game. Learners can include graphs of some of these numbers. Copy and adapt this Buncee template.
Vision Board- Students create a digital collage of their academic and personal goals this year. They include motivational quotes, people, music, and visuals. Copy and adapt this Buncee template.
Museum of Me- Introduce students to the Buncee Museum of Me template. Students will design a virtual museum with images of artifacts, which display information about them. Their virtual “me” museums have three rooms with exhibits, which include family, interests, and dreams/hopes for the future. Copy and adapt this Buncee template.
My Me Manifesto- Learners create a Buncee slide with statements that declare their philosophies, values, and beliefs about living a meaningful life and creating the world they envision. First, get learners to define what makes a meaningful, successful life. Then learners write down what values, beliefs and actions help them achieve this. Show them the Holstee Manifesto video and poster for inspiration. See this example of a teacher manifesto.
Acrostic Name poems- Using the Buncee letter stickers, students spell out their name on a slide. Students write a sentence or line describing themselves containing the word beginning with the letter. See this example.
All About Me Truths or Lies?- On a slide, students post 2 truths and one lie about them. Peers indicate the lie with a sticker. The next slide reveals the lie. Students can create several slides with the truths and lies for their peers to learn more about them. Copy and adapt this template.
Partner Interviews- Pair students and provide them a list of questions to choose from to interview their peers. They can record a video or audio and embed this in the Buncee slide that introduces the partner. See this example.
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an adjunct professor for the Alamo Community College District, an instructional designer, a teacher trainer, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology). She has been recognized by various entities, such as the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as a leader, innovator, and visionary in the use of education technology to support the needs of English Language Learners and English Language Teachers. She is the co-founder of the award-winning #Edchat movement, #ELTChat, theReform Symposium Global E-Conference, The Virtual Language and Technology Web Conference, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, and the Crafting an E-Textbook Massive Open Online Course. She has trained teachers and taught language learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations such as UNESCO Bangkok, The Ministry of Education in Spain, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and the British Council in South East Asia. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars, an instructor and instructional designer at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y Formación del Profesorado. She has also worked with professors and English Language Teachers in Venezuela to build their first online university program for language learners and teachers. She also is an ESL Specialist for Georgetown University and travels to countries to help their language teachers create materials, lessons, training programs, and professional development courses.
Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award for #Edchat, and recognized by Edtech Magazine as one of the Top 50 Edtech Bloggers.