Sometimes zombies (students) just need help discovering what they have in common in order to create friendships.  Play the icebreaker, As the Wind Blows, to help your students build face-to-face connections. An Icebreaker to Spark Friendships Some days sound like my classes of seventh grade English learners and emerging readers socialize too much.  But, even on these days, I sometimes notice my quieter students go from the chatty line outside my door to the rush to the cafeteria without saying a word unless it is part of the lesson.  Sure, these quieter students help to balance out the chatty ones, but I worry that they have notRead More →

As previously mentioned, I spent my childhood, teen, and young adult summers at Camps Winacka and Whispering Oaks.  At these camps, like most west coast camps, new groups of campers arrive weekly. To help the counselors and campers quickly learn names, each unit plays name games during down time on the first day.  On a safety level, this prevented situations like, “Counselor, my friend fell down and got hurt!” “Who?” “Ummm…I don’t know her name!  Help!” and on a more human level simply helped the girls feel validated and form friendships. I now use name games in my classroom toward the beginning of each course.Read More →