“Who knows the seven dwarfs?”
“Who adopted a pet this summer?”
“Who plays in the band?”
The room is humming as 20 sophomores buzz about, yelling questions to the whole class, gathering initials to complete their Bingo sheet. Some travel alone, some buddy up, and some wait in the corner until I gently nudge them.
“Who has a size seven shoe?”
“Who went on a missions trip this summer?”
What seems to be chaos is actually a fun, first-day activity that brings the class together. They have to stand up, move around, and start talking with each other. And I play along, too–prepared with the seven dwarfs answer so they all have to come to me. 🙂 No syllabus or books this first day; this day is about getting to know each other. Students figure out which students play drums, which ones were born in March, and which ones love to take art. They frantically help each other and point them in the right direction to record as many initials as possible.
“BINGO!” Sam did it!
We gather back in our seats and all share our interests, our summer adventures, and our family stories. And we build a community where we will read, write, talk, think. . .and hopefully laugh a lot . . . for the next 180 days.
What are some ways that you build community during the first days? Would love to read your ideas in the comments below!