SoOn this page, we’re collecting some great resources for classroom community builders and icebreakers. That includes particularly useful back-to-school activities and articles to build community and get your students and classroom ready to work hard, show respect, and learn well. This includes research on the importance of building rapport. But, we’ll also share quick classroom tips and tricks. We’ve even got some great icebreaker or warm up activities here. Keep coming back as we update this page regularly. Got a link you want to share? Leave a comment!
Tips for Building Classroom Community on Day One
- The Importance of Establishing Rapport with Your Students . This is a great article on the benefits of building rapport with your students. It breaks rapport-building-behaviors into concrete things you can do in your classroom today!
- How Can You Use Icebreakers? What a great list of things to consider when selecting an icebreaker.
- Setting The Tone in the First Ten Minutes of Class. This is a great testament to the power of the Do-Now. I like how a good Do-Now can create a classroom space that is calm and work-focused but still friendly and safe. Believe it or not, some teachers dislike fun icebreakers because they feel it can get students ramped up at the beginning of class. This article is a good reminder that an icebreaker can be calming as well. This article was a big reason I finally collected my do-now quotes and riddles and games into the book, On the Board.
- 50 Classroom Procedures is a comprehensive checklist of procedures you may need for class, such as how to start class off and what to do if students are confused.
- On the Very First Day (Be the Best You Can Be) Often the best way to build rapport is to share a bit of ourselves and our interests with our students.
Building Classroom Community All Year
- Maybe you should hold off an do icebreakers on the second day or the second week. Check out an article on why you may want to skip the first day of class!
- The wonderful My Name My Identity Project is a great resource for learning to pronounce foreign names among other things.
- Here’s a great guide on International Naming Conventions to help you learn how to pronounce your students’ names correctly.
- And here’s four websites to help you hear names and see them spelled phonetically.
- It’s Not Them, It’s You: Why Students Don’t Pay Attention And How To Keep Dead Time Out Of Your Classroom. A series of tips for keeping class moving so students don’t have time to get bored. Start these good habits for you and your students today!
- Keep the Essence in Sight Teacher, examiner, teacher-trainer, technology aficionado, and blogger Sharon Hartle shares a post on remembering to keep the important things in mind, no matter how busy we get.
- Icebreakers Aren’t Just for the First Day of Class. Building rapport doesn’t just happen on day one. Students’ lives, interests, and needs change as the school year goes on. Here are some reasons why you need to do getting to know you activities year round. Plus, some examples of activities that work well for keeping up with our changing students!
Articles on How to Build Classroom Community
- Don’t Break the Ice. Build Community What’s the difference between an icebreaker and a community builder? Here’s how I discovered that icebreakers need to give way to building classroom community in ways tailored specifically for students.
- Tips on Creating Your Own Classroom Community Builder: How to create a warm up activity with purpose or adapt an activity to work as a warmer!
- The Importance of Icebreakers In Online Classes by Jessica Mansbach. This post raises an interesting point. Building community in an online class can be much more difficult than in a face to face class. Some good ideas about doing team building activities through a computer.
- 12 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Warm-Up Activities is a good summary of why icebreakers and warmers are more than just fun ways to kill time.
- 5 Reasons to Use Ice-Breakers. A great survey of why every teacher needs a collection of ice-breakers in their teacher toolkit. This article is a wonderful resource for classroom community builders!
- Warmers, fillers, what on earth? Although the author doesn’t mention icebreakers, her criticism of random fun fillers applies to icebreakers. Icebreakers can be empty fun or useful tools that take care of classroom business. We agree, which is why we carefully curated the activities in 50 Activities for the First Day of School to be productive and fun. Students won’t respect a teacher who does fun things all the time.
Suggested Activities for Building Classroom Community
and other back-to-school activities!
- Classroom Community Builders is my collection of activates that build classroom community while also doing language work! Students walk away from the first day of school feeling part of a team. But they also feel like they got some work done, too!
- Start off the year by teaching teamwork skills. Everyone has a group work horror story. Part of the problem is we don’t always remember to teach students how to work in groups. So Patrice Palmer shares some activities to avoid group work pitfalls and start class off on the right foot.
- 3 Ways to Take Advantage of the Culture in Your Classroom My three favorite activities for getting students to share their greatest resource–their own culture.
- 4 Activities to Get to Know Student Expectations Four great activities to learn my students’ expectations. And these activities have the added benefit of being fun and working well as icebreakers or as class rapport.
- 7 First Day of School Activities Students Love focuses on activities that get students thinking about the course and course requirements. We’re always fond of articles that stretch classroom community builders to be about more than just getting to know you or having fun. Although, those things are important, too.
- Using a Course Blog as a Class Ice-Breaker. Can a blog be an ice-breaker? This professor tried it out and found it worked pretty well!
- Icebreakers for a Psychology Class In addition, we do not view ice-breakers as only necessary the first day or first week of courses, but rather we view ice-breakers as ways to continue building community and introducing new topics.” Here Here!