When I say, "ice breakers," people usually laugh, but the topic is hot! Why? Especially on a Continuing Education site? Because ice breakers in the classroom help teachers get down to business faster and keep students energized when the doldrums set in.
The most popular ice breakers of 2010 follow, and it's a different list from the Top 10 Ice Breakers of 2009, although the top 5 remain the same. That's lasting power!
1. People Bingo
People Bingo remains the most popular ice breaker of all because it’s so easy to customize for your particular group and situation, and everyone knows how to play it. Make your own bingo cards, or use one of the fabulous online card makers.
Be sure to check out the People Bingo characteristics in the Continuing Education forum. More than 103,000 people have visited the thread. While you're there, share your own favorite characteristics!
This ice breaker is a great introduction when people don’t know each other, and it fosters team building in groups that already work together. I have always found people’s answers to be very revealing about who they are as a person. Who would you want with you on a deserted island?
Join the 10,000 people who have viewed the Marooned thread in the Continuing Education forum. Get ideas and join the game.
You may have heard of 8-minute dating, where 100 people meet for an evening full of 8-minute dates. They talk to one person for 8 minutes and then move on to the next. Eight minutes is a long time in the classroom, so we'll call this ice breaker a 2-minute mixer. Ready? Go!
Adults bring to your class or meeting room an abundance of life experience and wisdom. Tapping into their stories can deepen the significance of whatever you've gathered to discuss. Let the power of story enhance your teaching of adults.
5. Table Topics
I picked up my first box of Table TopicsTM on a whim while shopping in one of those funky little shops you see in the artsy parts of any city. A four-inch clear acrylic cube holds 135 cards, each with a provocative question that is sure to inspire lively conversation in your classroom or at any party.
- Which piece of land would you wish to have preserved forever?
- What’s your favorite quotation?
- What song evokes the strongest memories for you?
One of my favorites, "If You Had a Magic Wand..." moves into sixth place from seventh in 2009. If you had a magic wand, what would you choose to change? Pass a magic wand, or some other object, around your classroom and generate some energy!
New on the list this year is Expectations, a nice surprise.
Expectations are powerful, especially when you're teaching adults. Understanding your students' expectations of the course you're teaching is key to your success. Make sure you know what your students expect with this expectations ice breaker.
A slip from sixth to eighth this year for "Would You Rather..." surprises me. We've got a roaring game of it going in the Continuing Ed. forum. Come on in and join us for some fun and ideas.
Would you rather find true love or win the lottery? Would you rather be bald or completely hairy? Would you rather tell your best friend a lie or your parents the truth?
"Where in the World" slips this year from eighth to ninth, but it's still a great conversation starter. Where in the world are you from? Or where in the world would you love to visit?