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More Back to School Icebreakers

Updated on September 2, 2012

Starting school can be nerve-wracking for everyone. Even veteran teachers need some new ideas so here are a few ideas to start off the new school year - or they can be used during the year to reinforce some things.

1. Here is a really great activity that will definitely get the attention of your students. It really helps with paying attention and following the directions. I have older students so you can modify it to your particular class population. Type the following on a sheet of paper and tell the students to read the directions first, because that is what they are supposed to do, right? A couple may catch on at first but the majority of students don't and think I've lost it. After about five minutes I call on someone to read the first two sentences and then someone else to read the last two lines. They chuckle and realize they've been had but it is a useful reminder to follow the directions.

Follow the directions below:

Read through all the problems beginning any of the work.

Give the answer for the following problem: 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 =

Find three whole numbers which, when multiplied together, give the same result as when added together.

A plain pencil and a colored pencil together cost 30 cents. The colored pencil costs 10 cents more than the plain pencil. How much does each cost?

A boy sold his bicycle for $30. He later bought it back for $25. The next time he sold it for $40. How much did he make overall?

Using five 1's it is possible to make them equal 100 by arranging by 111 - 11 100. Use fives to make 100.

It is possible to write down the digits 1 - 9 (writing each once and once only, and in order) and then place ordinary arithmetical signs as necessary so that the answer to the entire sum is 100. For example, 1 X 2 + 34 + 56 + 7 - 8 + 9 = 100. Find a way that uses only + and - for addition and subtraction.

All of the odd numbers from 1 to 999 are added together. What is the total?

I am thinking of a two digit number which when it is divided by the number 3 the remainder is 1. When it is divided by 4 the remainder is 2. When it is divided by 5 the remainder is 3. When it is divided by 6 the remainder is 4. What number am I thinking of?

You do not need to do any of the problems above, just write your name in the top right-hand corner and place it face down on your desk.

2. Another activity that can be used for the first day of school and is a true ice-breaker. Have the students write on a small strip of paper one thing about themselves, For example, Susie writes down, I love to swim. Each child writes one thing on the strip of paper they enjoy, or an activity they are good at, without putting their name on - (this shouldn't be too difficult as many lose points because they do not put their name on anything!) Put all the strips in a jar and pull one out at a time, read it aloud, and have the students guess as to whose paper you pulled out.

Great fun.

3. This final one includes a word search that can be made via using your words or, if you're feeling industrious, you can make it yourself from scratch.

Write a small paragraph about yourself. For example:

Hi, I'm Mrs. Smith and I love teaching. This summer I went to the beach with my family and we did lots of swimming. Mr. Smith and I go camping in our tent and we catch lots of fish that we get to cook on our grill.

Underline about 15 words from the paragraph and put them in a word search. Again, is a great site and it is easy to plug in your own words to create a word search.The kids really have fun with this one too.

I like to have a daily riddle or joke on my board in my room that allows the students to get involved in the class.

For example: Why are robots never afraid? Because they have nerves of steel. What vehicle is spelled the same backwards and forwards? A racecar.

What do seamonsters eat? Fish and Ships.

The riddles help wih language development and critical thinking skills, plus it's fun and when kids have fun to look forward to they are more inclined to learn!

Have Fun!

Checkout these ice-breakers!


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    • BJC profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Florida

      This is usually fun to work with the first day or so of school..

      Thanks borth advisor4gb and dohn121.


    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Very funny and fascinating hub. It brings me back to the first day of school when I was a kid!

    • advisor4qb profile image


      9 years ago from On New Footing

      Interesting hub!


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