Silent Line-Up

This is a good icebreaker at the start of class, or just when the kids need a break. I tell my students that I want them to line up by the day of their birth, in chronological order from January 1 to December 31. Then I tell them they can’t talk while they do it! Students use a combination of sign language, charades, and all ten fingers (and sometimes toes!) to line themselves up in order. With third graders, this can sometimes take a while. Once they have achieved the task, I have them do it again but in opposite order, from December 31 to January 1. This time, however, they are allowed to talk to each other. The same task that allows talking is always finished more quickly. Afterwards, we discuss how a team task can be completed more quickly when people communicate with each other. This activity can also be done with first or names in alphabetical order, height, shoe size, etc. Time Capsule One school year is a pretty big percentage of an elementary student’s life and a lot can change from September to June without your boys and girls even noticing. Creating a time capsule the first week of school is a great way to reflect on the changes when it gets revisited during the last week of school. You can create one big time capsule or individual student time capsules that you store. Potato chip canisters work particularly well for individual time capsules. Here is what I plan to put inside this year: first day of school picturebiography that includes current height, favorites, and three goals for the school yeara letter each student writes to their future (end-of-the-school-year) selfany trinkets students want to put in that represent themselves at the current point in time. This ften includes pictures of best friends and boy bands, sport medals, little toys, etc.time capsule