Week 1 has come and gone for me, so this post is a little late.
The icebreaker activity my co-teacher and I used was 2 truths and 1 lie. In the past, I would just have kids read their cards, followed by some students guessing, and then the kid would tell us the lie. Not this time. My co-teacher had the kids ask questions, and together we figured out the lie.
For instance, this is what one student had:
1) I was born in California.
2) I visited Texas in the summer.
3) I have a dog.
We had to model the questions in the beginning in order for student buy-in. So my co-teacher got the ball rolling by asking: what's your dog's name, what kind of dog do you have, how old is your dog, etc... Once the kids got the gist, they started getting really into it. Sometimes the kid in the hot seat would try to lie (I took mental notes), but most of the students would cave and say I don't know or that's my lie when they couldn't answer a question.
I liked the way we did this activity for a couple of reasons. First, you got to learn quickly which kids will be most vocal/willing to participate. Those who asked many questions during the activity are now the ones who ask questions or make comments during a lesson. Also, this activity helped promote questioning in my classroom. I want the kids to ask good questions, and I think this was a fun and easy enough activity to get them started on that path.