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Kick-Start Your Class: Academic Icebreakers to Engage Students

ISBN: 978-1-118-10456-9
288 pages
April 2012, Jossey-Bass
Kick-Start Your Class: Academic Icebreakers to Engage Students (1118104560) cover image
The New York Times bestseller author of Dangerous Minds has a new way to engage students

LouAnne Johnson's newest book is a collection of fun and simple educational icebreaker activities that get students excited and engaged from the very first minute of class. These activities are great to use with students at all levels, and many of the activities include variations and modifications for different groups. Research has shown that the use of icebreakers increases student motivation by creating an emotional connection between the student and school. In as little as five minutes, a creative icebreaker can engage students' brains, encourage critical thinking, and much more.

  • Includes a fun-filled collection of icebreakers that get students thinking and keeps them engaged
  • Written by LouAnne Johnson, a teacher and acclaimed author of eight books
  • Contains ideas for promoting creativity, unifying the classroom community, preventing disruptive behavior, and creating positive attitudes towards school and learning

No matter what your students' age group this book will give you the tools you need to create a classroom environment that promotes learning.

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Acknowledgments  xiii

About the Author  xv

Introduction  xvii

PART ONE: GETTING PERSONAL

Chapter One: Getting to Know You: Introductions 5

1. The Adjective Game 7

2. Autograph Collectors 8

3. Are You Kidding? 10

4. Business Card Creations   11

5. Flash Figures   12

6. Getting to Know You   14

7. I Have to & I Can’t   17

8. I Never Would Have Guessed   18

9. Magic Eyes   19

10. Me in a Bag   2 0

11. Do You See What I See?   21

12. Name Cards   22

13. Right or Left Brain?   23

14. Wave Your Flag   26

15. Stand by Your Music 28

16. Would You Ever?   29

Chapter Two: Working Together: Assigning Pairs & Partners  31

17. Card Sharks   33

18. Animal Pals   34

19. Personality Matches   36

20. Comics Coworkers 38

21. Pick-a-Stick Partners 39

22. Puzzle Partners   40

23. Story Segments   41

Chapter Three: Body & Brain: Kinesthetic Activities  43

24. Beanbag Topic Toss  44

25. Birthday Circle  45

26. Brain Boosters  46

27. Find Your Folder  47

28. Keep It Up  48

29. Hello, Stranger! 50

30. Make Your Move 51

31. Meet and Greet 52

32. Name Game Ball Toss  53

33. Name Tag Search  54

34. Shall We Dance?  55

35. Symbol Search 56

36. Slow, Fast, Slow  58

37. Verb Mania  59

Chapter Four: How We Do Things: Routines & Rules  61

38. Class Chant  63

39. Call-and-Response  64

40. Crazy Quiz  66

41. Cleanup Time  68

42. Give Me Three  69

43. Noise-o-Meter  70

44. My Kind of Class  72

45. Rules Bingo 73

46 . Seat Scramble Signal  74

47. We’re Going Reading  75

48. You & Me Pact  76

Chapter Five: Teamwork: Building Classroom Communities  79

49. Find the Teacher  81

50. Team Classroom Concentration 82

51. First-Day Feelings  84

52. Finish the Story  86

53. Juggling Teams  87

54. Our Class Puzzle  88

55. Multi-Balloon Float  90

56. Paper Turnover  91

57. Team Trivia  92

58. Unusual Measures  93

PART TWO: STICKING TO THE SUBJECT

Chapter Six: Mathematical Possibilities  97

59. Balancing Act  98

60. Count My Fingers  100

61. Matchstick Puzzles  101

62. The Number Game  102

63. People Shapes 104

64. Rhythm & Words  105

65. What’s My Number?  106

Chapter Seven: Scientific Suggestions  107

66. Critter Connection  108

67. It’s Elemental 110

68. Is That a Fact?  112

69. Mail Call  113

70. Recycled Animals  114

71. Tower Builders  115

72. What Is This?  116

Chapter Eight: Language Arts Starters  117

73. Analogy Anchors  118

74. A Picture Tells a Hundred Words  120

75. Canine Connection  121

76. Contraction Cutters  122

77. Foreign Phrases  124

78. “I Am” Poems  125

79. Meaningful Matches  126

80. Lick a Slug  127

81. Mirror Writing  128

82. Musical Words  129

83. Pictographs  130

84. Poetry-Picture Match  132

85. Proofreading Pairs  133

86. Quotations  134

87. Six-Word Summaries  136

88. Wacky Wordies  138

Chapter Nine: Rev Up the Reading  141

89. Back-to-Back  143

90. Book Swap  144

91. Fishing for Sight Words  146

92. I Can See Clearly Now  147

93. Three-Story View  148

Chapter Ten: Social Studies Scenarios  149

94. City Search  150

95. Birthday Customs  152

96. Local Geography Bingo  153

97. Name That Flag  154

98. State Silhouettes  156

99. Our World Map  158

100. Time Stretchers  159

101. World View  160

Chapter Eleven: Techno Tasks  161

102. Add a Sentence  16 2

103. Map Your School  163

104. Sell a Subject  164

105. What We Know Slideshow  165

106. Wordle Teams  166

Chapter Twelve: Artistic Experiences  169

107. Animal Figurines 171

108. Artists & Art  172

109. Head & Shoulders 174

110. “Me” Collage  175

111. Partner Silhouettes  176

112. Newspaper Hats  178

113. Tinfoil Sculptures 179

114. Window on My World  180

Chapter Thirteen: Musical Moments  183

115. Beats Me  184

116. Music-Picture Match  186

117. Musical Moods  187

118. What Color Is This Song? 188

119. Song Switch  190

Chapter Fourteen: Swell Ideas for ELLs  191

120. Body Parts  192

121. Let’s Talk 194

122. Noses to Toes195

123. School Shoppers 196

124. Picture Pairs  198

125. Take a Note  199

PART THREE: FORTY WAYS TO WRAP IT UP

Chapter Fifteen: What We Learned Today: Daily Closure 205

1. ABCs 206

2. Ball Toss Recap  207

3. Big Banner  208

4. Board Bingo 210

5. Cartoon Quotes 211

6. Connect the Dots 212

7. Countdown: 3, 2, 1  213

8. Flash Cards 214

9. Fractured Phrases  215

10. Learning Tree or Garden  216

11. Little Whiteboard Review  217

12. Missing Words 218

13. Pair Shares  219

14. Paper Airplanes 220

15. Question of the Day  221

16. Quiz Questions  222

17. Rate the Lesson  223

18. Roger Recap  224

19. Sentence Starters  225

20. 60-Second Recall  226

Chapter Sixteen: Recapping the Course: End-of-Term Closure 227

21. Countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1  229

22. Class Portrait  230

23. Create a Quiz  232

24. Dear Me  233

25. Dear Future Student (or Dear New Kid) 234

26. Digital Scrapbook  235

27. Draw & Discuss 236

28. Famous Quotations  237

29. I’m the Expert 238

30. I Used to Think  239

31. Learning Tips  240

32. Paper Quilt 241

33. Scrapbook  242

34. Self-Assessment  243

35. Six–Word Memoirs 244

36. Story Time  246

37. Twenty Questions  247

38. Who Wants to Earn an A?  248

39. Words of Wisdom 249

40. Write a Book  250

APPENDIX: We Want More!  251

Index 255

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LouAnne Johnson is the author of eight books, including the New York Times best-seller Dangerous Minds, and most recently, Teaching Outside the Box. Johnson is a former U.S. Navy journalist, Marine Corps officer, and high school teacher.

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January 19, 2012
Kick-Start Your Class

Author LouAnne Johnson demonstrates a qick but involving activity for young students to introduce themselves and get to know their classmates.

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