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

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the_geneticist:
For classes that rely a lot on working in groups, I've used the "constructive and destructive group behaviors" https://tle.wisc.edu/solutions/engagement/constructive-and-destructive-group-behaviors.  It's a good way for students to introduce themselves and acknowledge some of the difficulties in working with others.  I have them read through the descriptions and ask them to write down their top one or two constructive and destructive habits and share with their group.  Usually gets a bit of a laugh and is a more applicable "ice-breaker" than saying their favorite color or amino acid or whatever.

mended_drum:
No.  My first semester freshmen already know one another from orientation activities, and we're too small a school for there to be many strangers after that.

And I hate them too.

fiona:
I'd be cautious about asking students to exchange phone numbers. Many students value their privacy, and have been victimized by stalkers, cretins, whatever.

If you want them to exchange info, have 'em exchange e-mail addresses.

The Fiona

flyingbison:
Quote from: fiona on January 04, 2013,  3:31:08 PM

I'd be cautious about asking students to exchange phone numbers. Many students value their privacy, and have been victimized by stalkers, cretins, whatever.



That was my first thought, too.  I would not participate in an activity which required me to give my phone number to strangers.

missemily:
I don't use ice-breakers every semester, but this is one I have used. I put the students into small groups (either by counting off or saying, "You, you, you, and you, you're a group") and pass out index cards. Each student writes his or her name (last name first) on the top line. Below that, each student writes "something unusual about yourself that you wouldn't mind others knowing." I ask students in the groups to introduce themselves to each other, including that special bit of information. Then I ask each group to decide which person in that group has the most interesting bit of information. (This usually involves some discussion and giggling.) The "winning" person in each group stands up and introduces himself or herself (and the interesting bit of information) to the class. If I am willing to spend more time on this, I will randomly pick someone from each group and ask him or her to name everyone in the group. At the end of class, I collect the index cards and use them over the next few class periods to organize groups by dealing the cards into 4, 5, or 6 groups. To prepare for class discussion, I put students into small groups and give them a few minutes to get to know each other before they work on the class discussion questions.

I find that being able to link each student to some unusual fact helps me learn their names, and it helps the students learn each others' names, too. It is essential, however, that students understand that the interesting bit of information they write down will be shared with the whole class.

 

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