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Posts Tagged ‘welcome back to school’
Ice, Dice and Smiles
foam stamps2 - merveoflaz

During this time of the year, you come across lots of ‘back to school’ activities. Considering breaking some blocks of ice, I have created this ice-breaker activity. The only thing you need is a dice and I guarantee a lot of smiles:) Let’s break some ice with a dice:)

I like hanging around stationeries and toy shops and I always discover a way to use some of the stuff out there as a possible teaching tool in my class (I wonder if this is kind of weird:)). This time, I saw the sweet soft cubes in the photo. First, I thought they were dice, but then I realized that they were ‘foam stamps’.  When I was a child, we used to cut potatoes and colour them to stamp. These stamps are cool, but they seem to limit the creativity with the ready – made shapes on them, but of course that’s another story:) Anyways, have a look at my activity. It can be used both as an ice-breaker and a warmer in your class.


Level / Age: Adaptable for all age groups and levels.

Time: 5 – 10 minutes

Procedure: – For each shape on the dice, provide a question (on the board or on a handout).

- Put the Ss into groups of 4 or 5.

- Each group is given a different dice with different shapes on them.

- Students  throw the dice in turns and answer the question referring to the shape on the dice.

- After a couple of turns, students can swap the dice and try out the new questions.

Here is a possible set of questions  (Pre-Intermediate level):

















* You may ask your students to create questions for each shape.

* You can make your own dice and create your own shapes using a piece of cardboard.

* If you buy a set of foam stamps, you should add two shapes for each, because they have only four shapes.

* You may provide more than one question for each shape.

* Keep your dice somewhere safe to use them in another activity later on.

Other possible ideas for the shapes:

* Answers (in different tenses) to make up the questions

* Time expressions to make sample sentences with the correct tense

* Vocabulary themes

* Imperatives to be ordered

* Tongue twisters to be repeated

* Names of the songs to be repeated

* Words to be rhymed

* Synonyms / Antonyms

Hope your students will enjoy the icebreaking dice activity:) Have a fab academic year full of excitement and success!

You might also like:

Welcome Back to ‘School Sweet School’

Catch the sparkle

Welcome Back To “School Sweet School”

No matter what level or age you are teaching, another new academic year has started. Like every other new thing, a new term brings new ideas, new plans and new hopes together. For me, it has always been like starting a cute brand new notebook and a cute pen (probably a fancy glitter fur one:)) Feeling the fresh smell of the books, trying each new pen at a time and walking through the corridors watching lovely colourful bulletin boards. With all these, your heart beat fast and then comes your first step into your new class. Seeing the students (like a group of MSN Smileys:) ready and willing, you have your first lesson happily.

A new term is also like a new film. There are actors and actresses, directors, cameramen and even make-up artists:) Each star (student) plays his / her part and the directors (teachers) lead them. The cameramen who watch every little situation going on with a great attention all the time are the administrators. You even have a large group of audience. They are the parents. They always stay tuned and in some schools they can even have a chance to watch you live online (seriously!)

You can consider a new term as a new journey. The students are the passengers and the driver is the teacher. Sometimes the teacher changes the roles with the students. When that time comes, students run the class through a student-centered activity in turns. Sometimes the teacher can act as the bus assistant or the stewardess helping out the students all the time. Some students are potential bus assistants. They are always ready to offer you a biscuit, a piece of chocolate or toffees and they surround you with their best hospitality:)

Unfortunately an academic year is a decade for some colleagues.  They always feel like the last person in a long queue. They seem to be tired of waiting and they are usually stressful, depressed, even angry and ready to grab someone’s neck. If you are reading this blog post right now, feel relieved. You are not one of them:)

No matter how you feel at the very beginning of this new term, I hope you will enjoy each moment of it. Here are some ideas to make your journey fun for you and for your students as well. Please do not hesitate to add your ideas.

  • Choose a concept for your classroom and change the concept in time. This will make you and your students enjoy the class time.
  • Set your rules (maybe with the students) and explain them clearly. Play your role well and never give up:) Do not forget that students always try to flow from the smallest hole they can find to break the rules.
  • Add something new to your teaching style or methods. You might search some teaching blogs and follow the ones you like. There are great practical ideas shared by precious teachers all around the world.
  • Try to update yourself. Stay tuned and follow the local and international seminars and conferences. Many of them give a chance to follow the sessions online or free webinars.
  • Learn about the learning styles of your students and prepare lessons involving all.
  • Open some space for your new materials. Be organized to save time and energy.
  • Decorate your desk at school (hope you have one) and add some colour to your materials.
  • Take care of yourself to be healthier and happier.
  • Be careful about the clothes you choose, your make – up and even your perfume. You are the only one on the stage and students like staring at the teacher from head to toe:)
  • Take a deep breath when you need. It is free and effective.
  • Keep in touch with your partners and colleagues. Working as a team makes your life easier and also powerful:)
  • Join the Facebook groups about teaching or conferences. This way you will follow all the events and occasions.
  • If you still do not have a Twitter account, get one now and follow the bloggers and teachers. Sharing is very easy and exciting on Twitter. You can even join chats on different teaching topics.
  • Try to arrange some time for yourself to relax or do something you like during the day. We all need to refresh ourselves.
  • Award yourself after a long study or a hard class. Have some chocolate with a friend:)
  • Don’t get scared of giving information about yourself (but put your own limits). Students like to hear about their teachers. Try to learn as much as you can about them.  This will build up a bridge between you and them.


Links you might like: (Authors listed alphabetically)

* A sample concept for your classroom by me:)

* Warmers, Fillers and 1st Week Activities   on the Blog Carnival hosted by  Eva Simkesyan

* An up-to-date page where you can follow the ELT conferences by Evridiki Dakos

* ELT conferences in Turkey – A great listing of events and  for teachers by the Henry Brothers

* Great lesson plans shared with videos by Jamie Keddie

* A brilliant plan to use cell phones as teaching tools by Karin Tirasin

* How to teach with not “to” the test by Larry Ferlazzo

* Ideas to cope with stress to help children, teens and adults by Lori Lite

* A great activity for you to learn about your students and for your students to learn about you by Nesrin Eren

And a nice song to cheer you up:)
‘School Days’ by Chuck Berry