I am always looking for new ways to get to know my students. Over the past two decades, I have attempted dozens of different types of icebreakers in my classes; some were successful and others were a total failure.
When I started teaching in smaller towns, I noticed that many high school and middle school teachers skipped icebreakers because they assumed the students already knew each other. I would argue that it’s always a good time to do an icebreaker with your students.
Here are some of the best times to do icebreakers:
- At the beginning of the year to introduce yourself and any students who are new to the district. (Even if the students have been together since kindergarten, do they really know everything there is to know about each other?)
- A few weeks into the school year to help the students feel more comfortable working in groups
- After school vacation weeks for a smooth transition back
- Any time there is a change in classroom dynamics (introducing a new student, a student teacher, or even when a student moves out of the district)