Do you do "ice-breakers"? What kind?

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fearless_winnower:
The subject says it all, really...do you do "ice-breaker" type activities on the first day of class?  If so, what exactly do you do?

I have a small (under 20) class of mostly upperclassmen, with a smattering of freshmen.  The class is going to be about 2/3 discussion and 1/3 lecture(ish), so I want the students comfortable talking to each other and to me.  Therefore, I want to set a friendly, open (but serious) tone on the first day of class.  Any ideas for activities that do that?

highwall:
Learned this from my old TA in undergrad college. You group two to three people together and ask them to find out about their new friends--names, year, major, hobbies, hometown, and quirks. Then, you tell everyone to go around and introduce each other. Then, we talk about some of the quirky things they do outside class and look for their relevance to the course.

wanna_writemore:
I only do basic introductions. I hate* icebreaker activities, so I do not impose them on my students.


*"Hate" is a major understatement for how I really feel.

yellowtractor:
Quote from: wanna_writemore on January 04, 2013,  2:29:13 PM

I only do basic introductions. I hate* icebreaker activities, so I do not impose them on my students.


*"Hate" is a major understatement for how I really feel.


x2

Also, OP, we've had a few (good, as I recall) threads about this in the past, if you search.

girasol:
My classes are only 50 minutes long, and I find many of the very "social" forms of icebreakers take up too much time. Though some argue persuasively that this is time well spent in building relationships between the students, my "icebreaker" has worked pretty well for many classes:

I ask them to find two students in the classroom whom they've never met before, introduce themselves, and exchange phone numbers with one another. This takes about 5-8 minutes, often requires them to standup, move around, and initiate conversation; it also compels shy students to make at least a couple of connections. As I mention in class, it also gives the students extra options for study partners and procuring notes in case they are absent.

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