Saturday, 5 May 2018

New Teams - Icebreakers

As you start to look ahead to a new school year - without losing focus on what there is still to achieve in this one - you may want to develop some icebreaker/get to know you activities with your teams. But don't just wait until September - you might learn something new about the people you are already working with.

Concentric Circles
This icebreaker has staff or pupils arrange themselves in an inside circle and an outside circle, the inside facing out, forming pairs. Pairs discuss their answers to a getting-to-know-you question, then rotate for the next question, forming a new partnership. This game gives staff or pupils the chance to have lots of one-on-one conversations and helps them quickly feel more at home in your class.

The possibilities for questions in this kind of configuration are endless; be sure to use more open-ended questions that can get people talking, rather than those that simply ask for a yes or no answer. Here are some sample questions:
  • Do you play any sports? If so, which ones?
  • Do you consider yourself shy or outgoing? Why?
  • What was the last movie you saw? Did you like it?
  • Describe your perfect dinner.
  • What would you do with a million dollars?
  • What is one thing you’re good at?
This or That
This icebreaker has staff or pupils informally debate on light topics such as “Which animal makes a better pet…dog or cat?” Participants have to choose a position, then physically move to the side of the room that most closely represents their opinion—one side means dogs, the other side means cats—and then talk about why they chose that spot. It builds participant confidence with talking in front of their peers, and helps them quickly find kindred spirits, and it’s also just a lot of fun.

Sample questions for This or That:
  • Would you rather live in the country or the city?
  • Should all students be required to learn a second language?
  • Which is worse: bad breath or body odor?
  • Would you rather be indoors or outdoors?
  • Which is better: Playing sports or watching sports?
  • Would you rather travel every single day or never leave home?

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