First Days & Icebreaker Ideas

The KNIGHTLYnews is an online forum where FWS instructors and other teachers of writing can swap and share ideas for best classroom practice. Weekly posts are designed to help teachers develop lesson plans and writing assignments, and respond to classroom challenges by introducing new teaching tools and sharing emerging pedagogical ideas. Posts also direct readers to program and campus resources that support teaching and learning, and provide opportunities for peer collaboration and mentorship.

Getting a small writing seminar up and running is an exciting and complex challenge. Typically, instructors present the syllabus at the first class session as a way to introduce students to the course. Consider instead sharing essential course information in bits and pieces over the course of the first two weeks in several 20-minute classroom activities that creatively weave together the following teaching and learning goals:

  • describing course content; 
  • presenting course assignments, expectations, and logistics;
  • engaging the intellectual work of the course/discipline and scholarly habits of mind;
  • building community with icebreakers and other collaborative activities.

Follow this link to a real time GoogleDoc | First Days & Icebreaker Idea Swap where we are collecting ideas for starting the semester. Join other FWS instructors to post ideas for additional classroom activities that you have tried or are considering.

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