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Double Duty Opening Activities and Icebreakers

Author: Emily Versace Subject: All Subjects Created: 2022-01-26
From The Author A while back I went to a workshop that blew my mind in both the content and how it was presented. I talked to the trainer afterwards and she told me all her training techniques come from the book “How to Give it so they Get it” by Sharon Bowmen. I immediately bought the book and started implementing the ideas to great success. One concept from this book that I want to share in this toolkit is the idea of icebreakers and opening activities that connect students to each other and to the subject content. In the classes I teach I found that there are some students who are eager to speak up in class, but the majority hesitate to participate. However when I use one of these icebreakers or opening activities at the beginning of class, I have found that for the rest of the class students are more eager to participate in discussion and activities. I recommend using these techniques even beyond the first day of class to help students connect to each other and to the material and inspire them to engage fully in the class. - Emily Versace

Toolkit Survey

Toolkit Overview

Double Duty Opening Activities and Icebreakers do two things:

1) They connect students to each other and help them feel comfortable and welcome in the class.
2) They connect students to the material they will be learning that day.

The effects of using this type of opener in a class or workshop, is that students will be more engaged right from the beginning of class and feel ready to learn and participate. This Toolkits is based on the ideas of Sharon Bowmen in her book, How to Give it So They Get It.

Steps To Implement

1) Look at your course materials and your daily lesson plans and identify class sessions you would like to enhance with this technique.
2) Use examples from the PowerPoint in the materials section, search the web or brainstorm your own ideas that will both connect the students to each other and to the material. Look for activities that include movement, conversation and subject content. This activity should be active not passive.
3) Give students a chance to share what they know and how they feel about the topic.
4) Start using the technique and see what different it makes in your class.
5) Tell the students why you chose that activity and what you hoped they would get out of it.
6) Evaluate the success of your Double Duty Opening Activities and Ice Breakers and adjust as needed.

Toolkit Materials