Back to School Jitters: Subs can help with Simple Icebreaker Activites

The first few weeks of school are often a very hectic time for teachers and students. Everyone is trying to get back into the swing of things. For many students this transition can cause anxiety and shyness that lasts beyond the first day.

When a substitute teacher is called at the beginning of a school year, it can compound some students’ fears. The sub can help to calm these feelings by sticking to routines as much as possible. Another key to helping students feel at ease is through some icebreaker activities. Activities designed to help you get to know the students but more importantly to help the students get to know you and each other are great tools for any sub. Here are a few icebreakers to try out at the beginning of your day with a new group of students

  • People Poems: Have students use the letters in their first name to create an acrostic poem about themselves (Example: Bill, Bright Interesting Loving Laughing) Have them share with the class.
  • Two Truths and a Lie: Call on students one at a time to share three statements about themselves with the rest of the class. Students must guess which statement is false or made up.
  • Picture Pairs Game – Pair students in groups of two and provide each student with a blank sheet of paper and crayons. Then have students take turns interviewing or sharing five special facts about each other. The goal of this game is to have each student record five facts that they have learned from their partner by only drawing pictures and not writing words.

Warming up to a new class and a different teacher can be tough. Use these icebreakers to help the students warm up to you and each other.

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