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Hello, reader! If you intend to post a link to this blog on Twitter, be aware that for utterly mysterious reasons, Twitter thinks this blog is spam, and will prevent you from linking to it. Here's a workaround: change the .com in the address to .ca. I call it the "Maple Leaf Loophole." And thanks for sharing!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Icebreakers

It is a little-known fact that I hate icebreakers. "Little-known" in the sense that I don't mention it every five minutes, but if you know me, you could have probably guessed.

Anyway. In previous years I have been frustrated that students in my classes, by the end of the school year, might not even know everyone's name in their class. So this year, I resolved to compel them into an icebreaker every time I changed the seating arrangement.

Well, first of all, what a coup if you have a lesson that depends on discussion and conversation and talking. Because, there is no teeth-pulling necessary to get people to talk about themselves for a couple minutes. And once they have broken the ice, so to speak, you don't have to worry about that component.

And second, how entertaining, and what a fun way to learn about your kids. Yesterday I changed all the seats and I asked the Geometry students (the youngest and traditionally most taciturn of my lot): if you were a Geometry vocabulary word, which one would you be and why? (with the caveat that in 5 minutes I was going to randomly select students to introduce their partner to the group.)

"A line. Because he just keeps going and going."

"A polygon. Because he has many sides."

"A circle. Because she is well-rounded."

It just went on and on. It was adorable.