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  • Writer's pictureSarah

10 First Week Ice Breakers for the Classroom

Updated: Apr 10

The purpose of team building ice breakers is to get kids up and moving, help them get comfortable in the classroom, as well as introduce them to their classmates. Some positives from doing ice breakers is it builds a sense of community within the classroom as well as practice procedures for classroom expectations. Therefore, provide insight into classroom compositions and student behavior. Here are 10 free ice breakers activities to help get to know your students.

10 Ice Breaker Activities PIN

Skittles or M&M Ice Breakers: Get to know you Activity

This is an activity where the kids answer questions about themselves based on the color of candy they are eating. The idea is that every student will take turns answering each question based on the candy color they eat. How it works, maybe you have the question “Something you love to do?” next to the GREEN color. Therefore, the student whose turn it is would eat their green candy and answer “something they love to do?” Here is a free example I found on TPT Skittles Ice Breaker by Learning for Life and here is an article using M&M’s for Get to know your group with M&M game activity by She’s Crafty. You can come up with your own version of this ice breakers game and even make it a subject refresher over previous year content if you wanted.

Prep needed:

  • Make group copies of the papers with color coded questions

  • Purchase candies for all classes

  • *Another option instead of candy is using dice and doing a number coded question instead of candy color coding. This would require only one dice per group. I use the FOAM dice because of the sound of 30+ dice rolling around drives me crazy. **

Snowball Throwing Activity

In this activity students would write something about themselves on a piece of paper, make sure they understand it is information they wouldn't mind sharing. The paper can be full size or a ripped portion of a whole, you get to decide how big the paper is. After writing their statement, students will then take their written piece of paper and ball it up then throw it across the room.

The kids really like this activity because

they get to throw paper balls. Once all the paper balls have been thrown students will find a paper ball and unwrap it. Lastly, students will take turns reading out their new statement paper then try to guess who’s paper belongs to whom. This activity usually causes a few laughs as some kids get really silly with their statements. A slightly different version of this is I had kids put 3 facts about them on an index card. Then I read the index card out loud and they had to guess the person. I left it up to the person to disclose themselves or not.

Prep needed:

  • No prep needed, students should have paper and pencils

"Who am I" Ice Breaker Activity

This would require some pre prep on the teacher. The activity goes like this, each student would get a “famous person,” “famous mathematician,” “famous scientist,” etc. taped to their backs. You could customize the activity for your subject or even use this as a review game for content. The students can only ask Yes/No questions. For example, students could ask “Am I older than Youtube?”. However, the students could not ask “What age am I?”.

Prep needed:

  • Printed “famous people” to place on students back

  • Tape or safety pin to keep the paper on their back here are some cheap colorful ones I use

Find a Friend Who… Bingo Board Ice Breakers Activity

Each student would get a bingo board. You can decide if you want the bingo to be vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or all boxes. The students will walk around to talk to their peers. Each student will find one student for each box that applies to them. For example: student 1 will walk over to student 2. Student 2 says “I have 2 dogs” so they can sign the box that says “Who has dog(s)”. After this student 2 can not sign any more of student 1’s sheet. Student 1 must find a new student to complete the next box. The kids usually take a little more persuasion when asked to do this activity. However, once they get into the activity they will be conversing and smiling getting to know their classmates.

Prep needed: ITS FREE!!!

Find a Friend Bingo Board PIN

Printer friendly “Find a Friend Who... Bingo Board”. Make it easy, HERE IS MY FREE RESOURCE if you want to use this ice breaker in your room this year. ITS FREE!!!

Check out some Get to know you ideas to help you get to know your students better! Click here

10 Get to Know you Gaems for first day PIN

Would You Rather & This or That Activity

You can come up with a few would you rather or google a few. Questions are easy to put into a slide show. You could use it to break up discussing procedures and rules on the first day. The best part of doing this is practicing those procedures you are wanting in your class. For this reason it is an almost must activity for my class. Moreover, when you ask these questions students get to show you the procedures for answering and thinking out loud.

You get to refine and correct any behaviors right away and verbally reward students that are doing the correct behavior, “thank you Deandre for raising your hand to answer the questions,” “Billy, please wait for your classmate to finish talking before you begin your thought out loud.”

Here are 20 school appropriate “would you rather” questions for this ice breaker, if you would like to copy them:

  1. Would you rather carry a flip phone or only use a smart phone with no APPs?

  2. Would you rather never play video games again or never watch TV again?

  3. Would you rather spend a day without your phone or a day with no people at all?

  4. Would you rather read only e-books or read only physical books?

  5. Would you rather live without a microwave or live without a toaster?

  6. Would you rather have no air conditioning or no heating?

  7. Would you rather only use Netflix or only use Hulu?

  8. Would you rather have to listen to only The Weeknd or only Harry Styles for the rest of your life?

  9. Would you rather only be able to watch movies starring The Rock or only be able to watch movies starring Tom Holland?

  10. Would you rather win an Oscar but not get to attend the ceremony or present an Oscar but not win anything?

  11. Would you rather meet Oprah or Dr. Phil?

  12. Would you rather be a famous songwriter or a famous drummer?

  13. Would you rather win American Idol or American Ninja Warrior?

  14. Would you rather tour with a famous band or tour with a famous comedian?

  15. Would you rather perform at the Super Bowl halftime show or play football in the Super Bowl?

  16. Would you rather teach a class in high school or have your parents teach one of your classes?

  17. Would you rather go to school four days a week for 10 hours or five days a week for eight hours?

  18. Would you rather sing in front of the whole school or be in a spelling bee in front of the entire school?

  19. Would you rather clean the bathrooms at your school or clean up after lunch in the cafeteria at your school?

  20. Would you rather handwrite all your homework or use the computer to do it, but you always get one letter grade lower than you usually would?

Prep needed:

Questions prepared for the day of the activity. You could create a document to have the students turn in. You could prepare the questions on a slide show to verbally read and also have a visual of the question. Here is my Google Slides for "10 Would you Rather" questions to get discussions going in class for your ice breakers.

10 Would you Rather Ice Breaker & Get to know you PIN

Find Your Partner Ice Breaker Activities

Find your partner activities are a great way to review previous concepts on the first day as well as getting students to move around and meet new classmates. You will need a handout of questions and answers that you have cut out. Next, each student gets one cut out of either the answer or the question. Therefore, one student will end up with the answer to another student's questions. The content of the questions are up to you. Here is an example of a free activity on TPT ( of jokes and punchlines

Back to School: Ice Breaker Activity Find Your Joke Partner” posted by A Primary Owl. Once students have paired up I usually like to make them complete a paired task and continue working together, like the "10 Things in Common" activity below.

Find Your Partner PIN

Prep needed:

  • Handout of "Question and Answers" cut up to pass out.

Passions Tic Tac Toe Ice Breaker Activity

Create a 3x3 grid for students in this ice breaker. The students are to walk around and get to know their classmates' favorite passion. They will randomly fill out one student's passion in one of the boxes on the grid. They may not have the same passion more than once on their boards. Once all students have filled in all 9 boxes on the grid, they will then walk around and see who has filled out the same passion in the same grid box. The matching box students will sign each others box. Whomever gets tic tac toe 3 in a row wins. This will make the student talk to a minimum of 12 classmates.

Click here for SessionLab "Passions Tick Tac Toe” link for further instructions

Prep needed:

  • Handout of 3x3 grid

2 Truths and 1 Lie Activity

This is one of my favorite ice breaker activities. Students will come up with 3 statements. Two of the statements need to be truthful, while one of the statements needs to be a lie. I love doing this activity because it is a great way to get to know the students and see what creative lies they can come up with. It is always a laugh. I will give instructions such that the students know they will be sharing these statements, so only put truths they are willing to share out with the whole class. I usually have the kids write the 3 statements down on an index card to turn into me later. We will go around the room and introduce ourselves and read our 3 statements. After the statements have been read, the class will try and guess the lie.

Prep needed:

  • Handout or index card if you would like them to fill something out and turn it in. otherwise the students could use a scrap sheet of paper.

Find 10 things in Common Activity

Provide students with a Venn Diagram handout. The students will partner up with another student and discuss their interests. Students will then fill out the Venn Diagrams about themselves and their partner. You could have the students share one interest the pair shared and one interest they have unique to themselves.

Prep needed:

  • Handout Venn Diagram.

Rock Paper Scissors Contest Fun Ice Breaker Activity

For this ice breaker, students should be grouped for this event. You should have groups of 3-4 students. They will have a Rock Paper Scissors play off with their group members, best out of 3.

Afterwards the winners of each group will have to play members of the other groups. Lastly, there will be a class winner. You could make the losing player tell a fact about themselves. This would allow 2 facts per student. The activity would be a great way to see how the class could handle group direction, individual behaviors, and help practice classroom procedures.

I find this is better for my end of the day classes. They need a little play, then I will follow up the next day with a get to know you activity.

Prep needed:

No prep is needed!

I have used all these in class before as middle school ice breakers and at the high school level. You could use these ice breakers for meetings at a professional gathering. They all work well with all types of students and different age groups. This is just a beginning list to help get your ideas going.

Let me know which Ice Breaker activities you try! I can't wait to hear about everyone's first day.

Read more ideas and check out Math Magic Mama resources

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