Monday, August 31, 2015

Snowballs - Start of Year Fun!

Hi, it's Roisin from Little Learner Toolbox! Did I really say snowball fun in fall? Yes! Well, in your classroom at least. One great way to get students on their feet, mingling and meeting new friends, is to have some snowball fun in your classroom. I love snowball fights, or general snowball fun in the classroom. There is something about writing down your thoughts and then throwing your ideas around the classroom (quite literally), that students just love! It is perfect as an icebreaker and a way to get students mingling and sharing ideas at the start of the year (Snowball fights are also a great tool for reflection throughout the year).  

What to do:
The general idea for snowball fun or a snowball fight is pretty simple. You provide your students with  blank pieces of paper and pencils.  Students then write down answers to questions or prompts that you ask them, on pieces of paper. They scrunch up the paper into a small ‘snowball’. When everyone is ready they throw their snowball across the classroom.  Students then reach down and pick up a snowball that had landed near them. They throw that snowball. They repeat this several times, until the snowballs are well and truly mixed up, and your students are laughing and generally having a good time. When you feel your class are ready, ask your students to pick up a snowball near to them and look at it. 

Questions or prompts you could ask at the start of the year include:
1. Write 3 fun facts about yourself
2.. One thing people might not know about you is….
3. One thing you are looking forward to this year is…..
4. One thing that helps you to learn is when……
5. One burning question you would like to ask about this year is…..

One fun thing to do, when you ask students to share fun facts about themselves, or something people might not know about them, is to have students find the author of the snowball, and then introduce them to the class. You may or may not ask your students to write their name on their snowball before they throw it. The snowballs could be signed (making it easy to find them), or the snowballs could be unsigned, and then students have to hunt for the original author before they can introduce them.  

Snowball fun in the classroom can also be used as an opportunity for students to share their questions or thoughts about the  start of the new year anonymously. This can be a nice way to begin establishing a culture where students feel that their opinions and questions are valued. 

Have a wonderful start of the year with your classes! If you are looking for more start of the year activities you might like:


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