1. Laura Peterson- devel math sharing pos and neg math experiences

2. Anonymous- pick an animal which describes yourself

3. Elaine Cohen- Learn names w/o being given instructions

4. David Still- Set up internet class list and require posts to other students

5. Bruce- Questionnaire with last q-what to take from a burning home

6. Rachel Schlesinger- Human scavenger hunt

7. Gayle- A/B fill in each others data sheet

8. Cynthia Burnley- Find phone numbers of 4 students for bus. card

9. Don Woods- Rate handshakes. Course policy is to get to know 80% of names.

10. Steven Lympany- Describe ourselves using topics from school initials

11. AKWC at Purdue- 3 statements about self only one is true/personal objectives

12. Susan McKinney- Describes writing ice breaker used by Toby Fulwiler

13. Jofn Coates- Pick a card with an image that describes why uou are in course.

14. Pip Ferguson- Locate geographically N-S-E-W according to where you live.

15. Lorinda Langer- Groups of 5/ flip charts on goals/hopes for course

16. Broderick- Leaves class chaging them with knowing each others names

17, Hukie Schirm- Questionaire on group effectiveness

18 Dwight Scott- Creative problems in engineering

19) Arthur Kingsland- Creative problem in architecture

20. Bland Tomkinson- Human bingo plus 2 more

21. Robert Baudouin-Birthday lineups/ find person with same card/find name on back

22. Karen McComas- Trip (toilet paper)/setting goals/lets make a deal plus more

23. Donis Arens- Find people with same song you have been given

24. Myrna Frestedt- knowing your personality

25. Mark Meir- introductions in 5 minutes

26. m. Greer- nonverbal communication game

27 Noam Shpanker- Nonverbal Communication building a straw bridge

28. Sandy Walser- Putting picture puzzles together


1) From: Laura Petersen <petersen@lcsc.edu>

Subject: Re: Cooperative warm up exercises

Cc: nctm-l@forum.swarthmore.edu Wed, 05 Jul 1995 12:35

I teach remedial math to a variety of ages, backgrounds etc. On the first day of class, I have students form in pairs and then share with each other their most positive math experience and their most negative math experience. Then the pairs join to form groups of four and each person introduces their partner and tells the other group members the partner's most positive and negative math experience. Then one person is chosen to be the reporter and shares one positive and one negative math experience from the group to the class, anonymously this time. It seems to break their reticence to discuss just why they end up in remediation -- although I think the exercise would have value in any class. It seems to foster the attitude that I want in these classes -- that we're here for many different reasons but share a common goal.

Laura Petersen petersen@lcsc.edu

Division of Natural Sciences PHONE 208-799-2484

Lewis-Clark State College FAX 208-799-2064

500 8th Avenue

Lewiston ID 83501-2698 USA


2) Here's somethin' I do: Have students pick an animal, or some other

non-human living thing that possesses qualities or characteristics that they see in themselves. They then write a short paper identifying the animal etc. they picked, and explaining why they picked the one they did. I make it VERY plain that I don't care about spelling, grammar, whatever. To help them get started, I explain that I'd choose a porcupine as my representative because it's such a mellow, take life as it comes - until it's threatened.

After the folks write their papers, I try to match animal, etc. to person, and I have them do like-wise. We get to know a lot about each other. The folks' honesty is always refreshing, as is their often candid appraisal.So...., as long as I'm talking about it, what non-human living thing might you be??


3) One that was successful for me was to ask the students to learn each other's names, but not to give them a system. At first there would be chaos, with students moving about asking each other their names, until they got organized, realized they needed a system with repetition, practice, etc. They would then get themselves organized, figure out a way to learn each other's names and practice. We'd have volunteers try to name people and practice a bit at each class. It didn't take too many class periods before they knew each other and I knew all the names too. Then we had a discussion of what worked and why and what principles of learning took place. The main goal, however, was to have students get to know each other and feel comfortable in the class.

Elaine Cohen Ph.D Dean of Instruction

Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

(510) 685-1230, ext. 203, FAX (510) 687-2527 ecohen@viking.dvc.edu


4) One of the most effective methods for bringing a class together as a group that I have heard about is through setting up a class-only list on the internet. If it is set up as an online journal, and each student is required to make three posts each week, then it serves several purposes simultaneously. I first heard of it being used as an alternative to the traditional class journal in a writing across the curriculum program. A side benefit was that it brought the class together.

We are just getting the capability to establish lists on campus so I have not used the technique yet. I hope to this fall.

Regards--David Sill, Associate Provost

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville



5) I have the students fill out a basiscally serious and informative questionaire about themselves, but the last question deals with some disaster. "If your home/ apartment/ mobile home or castle had burned down last night if all other people and pets had already left, what three things would you tak with you. You must be able to carry it out in a hurry. At the same time when going over their answers I talk over their answere with the entire class and introduce each with his/her first name. I memorize their first name. Really, it's sometimes difficult. I expain to them that I do it to prove to them how important each of them are. Their name represents who they are, etc. They then have a chance to say the other students' names too. It does break the ice.

Bruce at Arizona


6) I often begin class with a Human Treasure Hunt. If I know something about the students, or if I wish to introduce certain themes, I write up a list of human treasures to be found (e.g. find someone who has had a good laugh this week.What was it?, or find someone who wants to change something ...) Often, however, I tell the students to go around and ask things of each other, creating a list of students, and the one thing they want to share with the class or person. Everytime person A is asked, however, she has to give the same asnwer. At the end, when the list is completed, each person in the class,and I include myself, has generated a list of names, and information, zany or serious, to help them feel part of the group. Now, I actually have about 40 or more warmups, and a group of us have put them into two manuals, called Warmups One and Warmups two..to be used in groups of all kinds. I am at home, but I have the acutal mailing address in school. If you are interested in these, please give me a reply, and I'll send the info out to you. We use them a great deal, and I have had some fun leading workshops in the use of warmups in large and small groups, here at York Univesity, and even at STHLE conferences. Thanks for your tips, wamrups are really a great way to develop trust, discover resources, build creativity, and create fun.

Rachel Schlesinger, York University, Toronto, Canada. e-mail address :rachels@yorka


7) At the beginning of each of my "survey" American Constitutional Development classes I pass out a syllabus which includes as the last sheet this following "student data sheet". I ask students to form dyads with student "A" interviewing "B" and filling in "B's" et. "B" does the same for a third student. Then I ask each student to respond to the last question and add information as he/she think best. This is the fouth or fifth versions; it has brought no complaints and provides useful information on perhaps one student in three.

It is disappointing to learn the extent to which our students are without heros. Gayle - Baylor Univ.


8) 1. On the first day of class I try to learn students names. I ask them to state their first name and answer a question about themselves, which I vary from class to class. The questions are either "What is your favorite food?" "What is your favorite TV show?" "What music group do you listen to if you sit down to listen to music and do nothing else?" I take them in groups of five and repeat their first names, then add a second group of five also repeating the first group, etc. About halfway through I ask for volunteers to also try. I make it a point to not always repeat their name in order of their seating arrangement. The students also learn each other's name just by listening. The second, third and fourth days of class I call everyone's name to see if I can remember, and also ask for volunteers to do it. The students seem to enjoy the challenge to see if I can do it and to try it themselves. Later I am able to put last names with first names, simply by calling the roll. This enables me to call on students in class to contribute to discussion, speak to them outside of class when I see them, and makes students feel good that they are known.

2. I give students four small cards about the size of business cards and tell them to fill the cards with the name, address and phone number of four different people in the class. These are calling cards to use when they miss class and need to know what was covered or assignments. I usually do this after the names exercise so they have at least heard the names.

Cynthia S. Burnley -East Tennessee State University Internet: BurnleyC@ETSU.East-Tenn-St.Edu


9) We use "handshakes". Rarely does anyone get feedback on the qulaity of their handshake; yet we know how important that first impression is. In class, you identify the characteristics of ineffective handshakes: the wet fish, the knuckle cruncher, the pump, the finger grabber. Then you describe a "good" handshake. Allow the students to circulate in class, introduce themselves and shake hands. Rate the handshakes on a scale from 0 lousy to 10 terrific. If the rating is less than 5 gently provide feedback to the person about their handshake. Allow five minutes and ask them to introduce themselves to at least five people.

A second suggestion is to make the course objective that "In this class you will get to know the names of at least 80% of the class." This helps the students see that the personalization of the learning environment is important to you. It also remind you as teacher that you need to periodically include activities to help students acheive that objective. Other activities include frequent diad and triad activity on the course subject material.

IN%"woodsdr@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA" "Donald R Woods"


10) I sometimes have my students utilize the initials of our school to

describe themselves. As it turns out, your initials are the same, CCCC.

I have students describe themselves by:

Color: What color do you feel like today?

Car: What car describes your self image

Character: Fictional or non-fictional character with whom they might identify

Caption: A caption that could go under their picture in a yearbook to

describe themselves.

I teach electronics, so at times I use a Component as one of the C's,

i.e., identify an electronic component that describes you.

Students then share some or all of their C's. It can be a hoot at times.

From: IN%"slympany@uncecs.edu" "Steven S. Lympany"

Central Carolina Community College


11) IN%"alwc@sage.cc.purdue.edu"

I teach several classes that are cooperative learning or group learning situations.

1. I have students make up 3 statements about themselves. Only one statement can be true and the other 2 are a slant on the truth. Put students in groups and have them guess as to which statement is true. The object is to be so creative you fool the other participants into guessing the wrong ststement. The exercise develops lots of interaction and conversation between participants. They also learn a lot about each other.

2. I also use story boarding sessions to build goals and objectives for class. What do you personally want to take away from this class? What are the best study tecniques for this subject? Students break up into groups of 5 or 6 and write on post-it-notes all their opinions. I ask them to write their thoughts and feelings about one of the questions. I ask them to write fast and put only one thought on each piece of post-it-note paper. We write short senences or thoughts and use markers so everyone can read them from a distance. Each group puts their information on a portion of the wall and proceeds to group thoughts and opinions untill they are comfortable with their goals, etc. At this point they are given 3 votes each to apply to one or several of their goals in hopes of obtaining group consensus as to what is important in class or what they should do to maximize their study habits.

The questions are not important, however the group interaction really brings them together.


11) At the CCCC Winter Workshop, Toby Fulwiler presented and we participated in probably the best "icebreaker" I've ever done. I immediately came back to my campus for the spring semester and tried it. It works.

Here goes:

1. Find a stranger in the room - someone you have not previously met.

2. Write a letter to this person and discuss what you think a class

called " " is going to involve.

You have 5 minutes.

3. Add a P. S. where you tell your partner something about your

personal life that you don't mind sharing.

You have 2 minutes.

Then, give them 2 minutes to exchange letters and read. No talking.

4. Now, write another letter to your partner where you discuss one of your major concerns about " " or taking a " " class.

You have 5 minutes.

5. P. S. respond to your partner's P. S. from the first letter.

You have 2 minutes.

Then, give them 2 minutes to exchange letters and read. No talking.

6. Write a letter where you try to solve your partner's concern about " " or " " class.

You have 5 minutes.

7. You may add a P. S. if you like.

You have 2 minutes.

8. Pair your group with another group and develop one major concern to share with the class.

You have 5 minutes. You may now talk.

The key to this icebreaker is no talking throughout the session until they reach #8. We found that it kept us focused. We, as writing teachers, had an opportunity to talk about audience by shifting from the first letter which was more formal to the P. S. and then to each of the subsequent letters.You have to remain diligent to the time, and you may find yourself writing with a student if you do not have an even number of people inclass. Later in the semester this same activity can be used to check progress,to give you a quick sense of who's understanding what, and to allow students to explain a difficult concept to each other; then, you can collect the group concerns and use that to supplement your lecture or to create a review for a test.I used the prompts and time sentences on an overhead so that I would not talk either.

Susan McKinney Westark Community College Fort Smith, AR



13) IN%"JCOATES@academic.stu.StThomasU.ca" "John Coates"

I begin one of my courses (a Social Work Theory for Practice Course) with an exercise I adapted from one used by Ginny Griffin at OISE in Toronto. In this course I encourage a great deal of discussion and work in small groups so opening with a small group exercise is a usefull orientation. I prepare groups of cards with different images

on the front and questions on the inside (depending on the size of the class I usually have 6- 8 cards with the same image. I ask the students to pick a card which appeals to them or says something they value about social work, and think about the questions on the inside.

The images are from 'pop art' but are chosen to reflect what someone might think about social work (for example a heart, a handshake, a candle, etc). The questions are: Why did you choose this symbol? How is it a symbol of you as a social worker? How is it a symbol of you as a learner? what does your choice of symbol suggest you wish

to learn in this course? What similarities/differences do you find in your group?

When cards are chosen the students are asked to think about the questions on the inside for a few moments and then join others with the same colour/image and share their responses. It doesn't take long for students to get into active discussion about perceptions, beliefs, expectations, etc. After 20 minutes, I ask each group to share wtih the larger class any similarities or differences.

One year I had about 5 students who did not wish to participate. I asked them to form a group and to share with each other their reasons. I was told that this was very empowering for them as I respected their right to choose but they were also involved in a group and got to know some other students. I hope this is of interest. I am looking forward to receiving the summary you put together. .

John Coates phone 506-452-0540

Department of Social Work fax 506-452-0611

St. Thomas University e-mail jcoates@StThomasU.ca



We use a couple here with groups of new adult learners which work well and get people out of their seats. One is to designate one end of the room north, the other south, and the remaining walls east and west. (We usually get more specific and give the names of close towns to help people). The participants are then asked to put themselves somewhere in the room which corresponds to where they live. They have to talk to each other to do this, in order to find out who's closest to the centre (i.e. our Polytech) or to orientate themselves in relation to other people. This helps students to organise car pooling, proximity when joint assignments are being done etc. We usually ask at least a sample to tell us where theyare, as well. This activity is sometimes altered by designating the walls various parts of the country. They get to choose a spot which has special significance for them, or where they really like to be. At sharing time, after they've all sorted out where abouts they are in relation to each other, they can say why that spot is significant. In New Zealand culture particularly, the Maoripeople may come from one tribal area (which is their 'real home') but live in another, so it's important for them to be able to indicate where their tribe originates.


15) What I do in my first classes, particularly those that are likely to have brand new students--first quarter at Metro--is to have them get into groups of four or five. I then give each group two large pieces of paper (flip chart size) and a magic marker. Each group then writes their hopes for the course, the quarter, or their time at Metro. On the second sheet, they write their fears about the course, the quarter, attending Metro. After that, I hang all the sheets up with masking tape around the room, and I try to answer their fears about the course. Discussion usually points out that the fears are the opposite of their hopes and that they each have a lot of control overreacting their hopes. That they have common fears and hopes becomes apparent also. I, too, put up two sheets with my hopes and fears for the clas, which let's them know I am human. On the last class period of the course, I resurrect the sheets of paper and they discover that they have lost their fears and realized their hopes. In the first class of creative writing, I ask each student to write about him or herself as though he or she is a fictiona character. They are to include physical description and other fiction techniques that reveal character. These character sketches are written in third person and usually are very honest and revealing. Creative writing is a course that depends a great deal on trusting one's fellow classmates, so beginning the class with such honesty helps set the tone for the rest of the quarter.

Lorinda Langner Cc: llangner@metro.mccneb.edu


16) Here is another, one that should be conducted the first day of class, right at the beginning of the class. One of the best ways I have found to "enerize" your classroom is to leave it! Tell students that you are going to leave the classroom for five minutes, and that when you return, you want each student to be able to introduce five classmates to you on a first-name basis. How are they going to do this? That is up to them. Just do it! Then, leave the clas for the allotted time. When you come back, 5 - 10 minutes later, you will find an energy level that is sadly lacking in most of our developmental classrooms. Point this out to your class, and then ask for a volunteer to introduce 5 students. You will almost always get one, two, or three people to volunteer. If you don't, pick out a student who looks as though he/she won't mind "being volunteered." As the students are introduced, repeat their names and welcome them to the class. This activity is a terrific way to jump-start your class and let students know that they will be active learners, that the normal "passive mind-set" that so many of our students bring to class won't work in your class. With no instruction from you on how the students are to learn the names of five others, you have put them on the spot - they have to do it, and they have to figure out how to do it. Some will write the names down, others will commit the names to memory,

others will not just give the names of 5 classmates, they will include other information about the people they are introducing. After the introductions, you can then tell students what you are expecting of them for the semester, and,believe me, you will have their attention!



17) When answering the questions below, consider a team(s) you are currently

working with as a frame of reference.

1. Identify the characteristics of an effective team:

2. What are the current strengths of the team?

3. If you could change one thing in order to help the team function more effectively, what would it be?

4. If you could discuss one issue in an open way, involving the total team in the discussion, what would the issue be?

5. What one norm or practice does the team accept that keeps the team from functioning better?

6. What are the strengths of the team's leadership?

7. What does the leader do that keeps the team functioning more effectively?

8. What does the leader do that inhibits the team from functioning


Julie Schirm Team Leader/Instructor ConferTech International

Westminster, CO julies@cfer.ctiw.com.


18) I teach a fall semester course to sophomores in "Communications and Introduction to Design. We have weekly 2 hour lab periods, and in the first, I introduce some of Karl Smith's collaborative learning strategies.The warm-up exercise is for groups of three strangers to meet briefly, and then to solve the problem "How many {type of sport} balls would it take to fill this room?" The next week, with advance warning, each student arrives with a one page resume. They interview each other in pairs, and then stand to introduce their partner to about 15-20 students (one third of the class). Following the intros, they give each other constructive feedback on their resumes. Later in the term, polished resumes are assembled into the documentation provided by 4-5 person design groups who consult with real clients on campus about real problems.

Dwight Scott, P.Eng. Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Mechanical Engineering Department

University of New Brunswick

DGSCOTT@UNB.CA (internet) dgscott@jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca


19) ...we also get the students to undertake one or two creativity exercises. One creativity exercise is to build a bridge to span a certain distance and to carry a given weight within a specified time frame with given materials (pipe cleaners, drinking straws, a polystyrene cup (!) and a few paper clips). The other exercise uses similar

materials: build a free-standing tower as high as possible, with the

constraint that it must also be architecturally pleasing (we are a Faculty of Architecture!).

These exercises enable a number of agendas to operate simultaneously on a number of levels, but virtually all students find them fun. They also are good exercises to use for later directed reflective analysis.

Arthur Kingsland <\^^/> Telephone: +61 49 215783

Faculty of Architecture )==( Facsimile: +61 49 216913

The University of Newcastle //\\

N.S.W., Australia, 2308 _// \\_ arajk@cc.newcastle.edu.au


20) The first was "Human Bingo". We prepared 24 cards (the size of the group but also 4! for the mathematicians). Each has a table 4x4 but with one cell deleted in each row and column and the other cells have interesting items like: Rides a bicycle; Enjoys classical music; Has brown eyes; Was born in February. Each person then had to go round and try to fill in information on those cells by asking questions of the other participants. In theory this should only go on until the first person fills a row or column and then shouts "Bingo" and is rewarded with candy or whatever - but in our case it just kept going until everyone had spoken to everyone!

The second was "Cultural greetings". This again had 24 cards - the expected number of particiapnts, though there were only 21 in practice!, 12 blue cards and twelve green cards (the colours that happened to be to hand). On the cards was a form of greeting (in some cases with a guide to its performance or a diagram!) twelve in all with duplicates in blue and green. Examples were "Shake hands"; "Curtsey", "Give a military salute", Kiss on both cheeks". Individuals selected a card at random but were allowed to trade in (as I had some spares) so I ended up with two "Rub noses" cards!!

The group was then set off to find their partner (an exercise in pairs followed) introducing themselves to others by giving the appropriate greeting first. This worked very well with this group but some exercises could embarass certain groups so it is well to use it with care.

The third exercise had no prepared cards!! this involved grouping participants in small groups - pairs and threesomes mostly - to discuss their names: How they liked to be called, How they did NOT like to be called, Any pet- or nick-names, What they knew about the history of their names, and so on. This also appeared to work well

and ,with a new group meant that each person had got to meet - and remeber the name of - a couple of others.

* Bland Tomkinson * Telephone 0161 200 3531

* Director of Staff Development * Fax 0161 200 3534

* UMIST, PO Box 88 *

* Manchester M60 1QD, UK *



21) In groups of approximately 50 students

1. have them line up (usually in the corridor to have more space) according to their date of birth (day and month only). I identifywhere january 1 is. Of course students, are not allowed to ask direct questions relating to dates.

On this occasion, I try to identify upcomming birthdays.

2. have a deck of cards that I have cut in two. I hand each student a half card and their assignment is to find the other half again without asking the question directly.

3. have names of celebrities (real or fictionnal or even class topic oriented) printed on name tags. I place a name tag on each student's back. He or She must find out who's name is on his or her back.

I do not ask them to present (at this point) anything to the group because of lack of time but also because I beleive that it is counter productive. Several students are nervous at the idea of facing the class. I prefer to give students a chance to interact amongst themselves and eventually they feel comfortable with the whole class.

Robert B. From: Robert Baudouin <baudoir@UMONCTON.CA>


22) Trip:

Explain to the students that they will be going on a trip for a week. As part of their packing for the trip, they must take the amount of toilet paper that they need for a while week. Pass around several rolls of toilet paper and ask students to take the amount they will need. [This is funny enough as students try to maintain their cool...there is always someone who takes half the roll, someone who takes two squares, etc...good insight into their personalities]. Once everyone has their toilet paper, the fun begins. For every square they have taken, they must tell the group one thing about themselves. For example, if they have five squares...they must tell five things about themselves.

Depending upon the size of the class, this can take a while (also depends upon how much toilet paper they use!). I usually have them take the toilet paper during one class period and give them an envelope. I have them write their name and address on the envelope and store their toilet paper in the envelope. I collect the envelopes and then each day for successive days, we work through the introductions. Once this activity is complete, I use the envelopes in another way...see the next activity.

Setting Goals

This activity is different from class warmups, but it is well received by students and an interesting exercise. I ask the students to write their goals for themselves (personal and professional) on a sheet of paper. They insert these into the envelopes and seal them. I collect the envelopes and keep them.

I have done different things with these goals. Sometimes I just mail

them to the student at the end of the semester. In some classes, we use these as the basis for the final examination. In all of my classes, students are required to maintain a "collection" portfolio. This is an organization of all the material they have collected for the class over the course of the semester. On the last day of class, I return the

envelopes to the students with these instructions. Students will write a narrative discussing their personal and professional growth over the semester with respect to the goals they had set for themselves. I ask them to support their statements with samples/examples from their writings which are included in their portfolios (we do reading logs and lecture logs and more formal writings). In preparation for the exam, students must consider their growth, find examples and I allow them to bring an outline of their narrative to the final exam (along with their portfolio). Thenarrative is then written during the final examination time. The great advantage of this activity is that most students are absolutely astounded at how much they grew over time and it was only the

retrospective look at the semester that enabled them to see their growth.

Let's Make A Deal

I divide the students into groups of 4-5. Their task is to search their personal belongings (purses and bookbags) and come up with the items necessary to be a perfect "speech-language pathologist" (or historian, sociologist, etc.). They are asked to create a list and provide an explanation for the use of the objects that they have listed. Students get very creative in these activities and at the end I collect the lists and type up a composite which I then print and give copies to every member of the class.

Scavenger Hunt: Disability Style

Prepare for a scavenger hunt. Once in the class, randomly select teams (at least six per team, but multiples of 3 work equally well). Each member of the team is assigned a disability. The group members that are blind can hear and talk; the group members that are deaf can see and talk; and the group members that are mute can see and hear. [I blindfold the members that are blind and use earmuff style hearing protectors for the group members who are deaf...although they can still hear some things, it is more difficult and helps remind them they cannot rely upon auditory information. I also provide masking tape if the students who are mute elect to tape their mouths shut. Although I don't require this, most do.] I also recruit former students to serve as "spotters"...a spotter accompanies each group to verify that no cheating occurs and to ensure safety.

While this might seem difficult enough...there is one more rule that each team must adhere to. The team must join hands and there can only be one break in the chain at any given time. If student A knows where they can get item #1, then student A is in the lead. If student B knows where they can get item #1, the group must form a circle and then break so that student B is in the lead.

This activity is a tremendous amount of fun but very challenging. You don't need many items on the list, but try to include items outside of the building the class meets in. After the scavenger hunt, I have students write a narrative describing their experience (physical reactions; psychological reactions).

Karen L. McComas

Communication Disorders, Marshall University

Huntington, WV 25755-2634

More info? finger mccomas@marshall.edu


23) Here is something i have used with people from ages were 6 years to 82 years) As people arrive they receive a slip of paper with a popular new or old song which most everyone would know.( You need 8 to 10 songs divided up with the number of people you are expecting - Yankee Doodle, The bear went over the mountain, Jingle Bell, etc.) They keep this paper hidden. (It is amazing as to how long some of the songs have been around. They seem to bring good memories for the different ages. At a set time everyone begins to sing their song while walking around the room trying to find others singing the same song. As they discover the others, they stick together listening and singing for their teammates --Sometimes I've set a flexible time schedule, depending upon the groups.- . Once they are together and in celebration of finding others they listen to the teams sing their particular song. There is clapping and laughter and "good feelings" to get more acquainted. Because they are in a mix group which is often one of your goals to meet and get acquainted with others, you can do a get-acquainted activity within the group. I like to encourage the groups to sit in a "circle of friends" as they do another activity. That way they can all see and hear each other. It's great you are getting together. We have so many talented individuals as resourse and having opportunities you are giving other should be most beneficial. Enjoy - let us know please, how and what you decided to do. I'm always on the look out for ideas to use or share with others.

I hope this idea may assist or lead you to create other appropriate

activities for your group. In planning I keep in mind the saying that


Donnis Arens - Omaha, (Go Big Red )

Nebraska darens@esu3.esu3.K12.ne.us


24) Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 16:05:43 -0701 (MST)

From: frestedt@getnet.com (Frestedts)

I'm sure much depends on the age group and teaching circumstances. I'm

familiar with the Johnson and Johnson materials and have received training

in collaborative teaching methods. However, I am used to working with teens

and adults, so getting them ready is usually the first class sessions

priority. I explain the why and do some "fun" examples which also work as

icebreakers. One example is the "four balloons" activity. In this activity

the instructor draws four hot air balloons on the board. One is labeled

"w," one "x," one "y," and one "z." They are drawn in this approximate





x w

I hope the spacing on these letters translates well onto your e-mail screen.

The "w" is most rightward and down a bit from the "y" and "z". The teacher

explains that the "w" balloon is the lead balloon (the general direction of

the wind is from left to right). The "x" balloon is a balloon which follows

closely the leader. the "y" balloon is also following the leader less

closely and it is also higher up, so that a broader view is possible. These

three balloons, "w," "x," and "y" are all moving with the flow to the right.

Balloon "z" is higher up for a good view too, but "z" is going in the

opposite direction from the other three.

Once the teacher has explained the drawing, he/she asks students to think

about which balloon they would prefer MOST to be in, and to think about why

they think that "location" would be best for them personally. The teacher

then divides the class into groups with three or four persons in each. The

teacher lets the students know that this is a "warm up" group activity to

show how groups involve many perspectives. Once in groups students are to

identify in turn what each person selected as his/her preference and to talk

about why they made the choices they did. Of course there's no "right

choice" and of course the group is not asked to "endorse" any one

perspective. After 15 minutes of sharing (time varies per group according

to age and situation), the instructor guides a general sharing session and

tallies the numbers of preferences to show how the class as a whole has a

distinct "identity" based upon the many combinations that could result from

such a survey.

This activity accomplishes two things in the groups I've used it in. First

the students self disclose and begin to relax, because they can talk about

the advantages of their own chosen perspective since all are equally valid

(the teacher may have to keep reminding them that all have validity and

strengths). Second, the students and teachers begin to get a sense of the

"community:" they are in in the class as a whole. Students have never

pressured me to tell them which balloon I would pick. I've been lucky, for

I'm not sure about the best way to answer.

Myna Frestedt

teaching in AZ


25) Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 12:09:14 -0500

From: Mhmaier@aol.com

On getting CL started: of all the "warm up" exercises that I've read about

and seen demonstrated the single most effective for me is the four minute

interview, demonstrated at a workshop led by Spencer Kagan.

Students number off 1,2,3,4. The instructor explains to students that they

will have four minutes to learn about each other, one minute for each

student. Student number one is asked to stand--this is important, make

certain that students stand--and the instructor explains that the other three

students now have one minute to learn about student number one. After one

minute, move on to student number 2 and so on.

I find this technique to be fast and effective. To me, it feels less gimmicky

than some other warm-ups. Students like it and it really does take no more

than five minutes total.


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 09:14:59 MDT

From: "MGREER" <MGREER@admin.lhs.davis.k12.ut.us>

Subject: Re: Non-verbal communication

This may be a little light for college but it worked well in high school. I always play a game I call Gestures. The kids are in groups and they first write down all the gestures they can think of that we use to communicate (ex. shrug shoulders means I don't know). Then one person in each group acts out the gesture for the rest to

guess. If the other groups have that one on their paper they have to cross it off. The groups can also add to their lists at any time. We just keep quickly going from group to group. I usually have to end the game long before they run out of gestures. The group with the most gestures on their lists that haven't been used is the winner. This game really proves the point that in our culture we use our bodies a great deal to communicate. The kids really enjoy it.


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 96 18:45:52 EST

From: noam@psych.purdue.edu (Noam Shpancer)

Subject: Re: Non-verbal communication

there's an old activity often used in family therapy situations but i used it successfully in my interpersonal relations classes too. it's called the straw tower task. you get

a bunch of straws and some rolls of scotch tape. divide the class into small groups (4-8) and give each group straws and tape. their task is to build a straw tower.however, they cannot talk. you can additionally designate one or more people as observers of each group. those do not participate in the task but rather observe the group

dynamics (in this case with a focus on gestures) and take notes. you of course can take notes yourself. give a time limit (15-20 min.). once time's up, have the observers comment on what they saw, have participants comment on what they were doing, thinking, feeling, trying to communicate etc. you can have less groups and more observers and you can play with the time limits. usually, you get an abundance of non verbal stuff that can be discussed and explained and evaluated. the experiencial component is fun and engaging, and (no pun) very telling.


I learned a trick several years ago from a pair of lovely teachers from east Texas. Take 8 or 10 large pictures (magazine pages from Sports Illustrated, a picture calendar, or such) and glue to poster board. Laminate if possible. Cut each picture up and put the same number on the back of each piece of this puzzle. The next picture will have a different number on the back of each piece. After all pictures are cut and numbered, mix all of the pieces together and put in 10 different zip-lock bags. On the first day with the class, I discuss the importance of working together to reach your goals. I than tell them they will put a puzzle together as a team, give each group one bag, and become very busy doing something else. I refuse to answer any more questions and watch and listen. You can learn so much about these students you have just met. The risk takers are the first to even venture looking at another table, much less getting up out of their seat to go for help. The analytical ones discover the numbers can be used and often forget the picture in search of numbers. The extremely passive student will sit in his chair and wait for others to come to him. It is a fairly quick activity and really gives me insight to my new students.

Sandie Walser walsersl@tenet.edu

Palo Duro High School voice 806-381-7100

1400 N. Grant fax 806-355-5066

Amarillo, Texas 79107



Lancaster University - UK - has a mongraph entitled "48 Warm-ups for Group Work".

Bland Tomkinson BSc BA Director of Staff Development Telephone 0161 200 3531 Fax 0161 200 3534

UMIST, PO Box 88 Manchester M60 1QD, UK



I found a wonderful resource that I use to start workshops. The three series I have are: "Structured Exercises in Stress Management", Structured Exercises in Wellness Promotion", and "Working with Groups." Each volume has a section on ice breakers, Exploration, Self-Care, Stress management, Action Planning, Closure, Group

Energizers, etc. I can put together a workshop within a couple hours

using these books.

The company's name & address is:

Whole Person Assoicates, Inc.

210 West Michigan

Duluth, MN 55802-1908


Rose Rude Academic Support Office Tutor Coordinator

UW-River Falls

River Falls, WI 54022


An excellent resource for developing exercises and activities (and ice breakers) is ACTIVE TRAINING: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES, DESIGNS, CASE EXAMPLES, AND TIPS by Melvin L. Silberman. It is published by Lexington Books, an imprint of Macmillan. The ISBN is 0-669-24262-4. Although his purpose with this book is beyond the classroom to the trainers out there in the corporate world, he has lots of good information that is certainly relevent for the college and university environment.

Karen G. Smith, University Director Learning Resource Centers

Rutgers University



The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has an internal quality improvement group that runs team-building training along with instruction on QI. They had many ice-breakers during our training. Try contacting

Warren E. Cohen, 313-764-7410. From: IN%"rowe@Oakland.edu" "Terrie Rowe"


There are three books by Edward Scannell and John Newstrom published by McGraw-Hill called Games Trainers Play, Experiential Learning Exercises; More Games Trainers Play, Experiential Learning Exercises; and Still More Games Trainers Play, Experiential Learning Exercises. ISBN's are as follows: 0-07046408-1, 0-07-055045-X, and 0-07-046427-8. These books are good sources of ideas for ice breakers as well as other activities to facilitate student involvement. The other source that I find valuable is the COOPERATIVE LEARNING and College Teaching Newsletter. You can phone New Forums Press, Inc. at 405-277-2237 to subscribe. It is rich with ideas and also facilitates networking.

You might see the Handbook of Organization develpment in schools and colleges by Richard A Schmuck and Philip J. Runkel.Hope it



University Associates Publishers and Consultants produces good materials for warm-up exercises which can be used in a variety of small group settings, including the classroom. The last address I have for them is 7596 Eads Avenue, La Jolla, California 92037. (714) 454-8821.

Beth Bowser E-Mail: BOWSER@WCU.EDU

Institute for College and University Teaching Camp Bldg. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee NC 28723 Phone: 704-227-7278 FAX: 704-227-7030


"Using Cooperative Learning" By Phillip C. Abrami et al of Concordia University's Centre for the Study of Classroom Processes (I am a member of the centre but not an author of the book) published by Wm. C. Browne Communications notes on teambuliding that activities fall into 3 broad categories: a)icebreakers,or get acquainted activities, b)appreciatiion activities, c)goal setting or visioning activities.

Calvin S. Kalman Phone: (514) 848-3284 *

* Professor Fax: (514) 848-2828 *

* Department of Physics KALMAN@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA *

* Concordia University *

* Montreal,P.Q. H3G 1M8 or KALMAN@CONU2.BITNET



CMA Publishing Co. Applied Skills Press

8517 Production Ave.

PO Box 26240

San Diego, CA 92126

ACTIVE TRAINING: A HANDBOOK OF TECHNIQUES, DESIGNS, CASE EXAMPLES AND TIPS by Mel Silberman (1990) Chapter 3 - "Creating Opening Exercises"

Lexington Books Macmillan Inc.

866 Third Ave.

New York, NY 10022

ISBN 0 669 24262

Dr. Barbara S. Bonham Senior Researcher

National Center for Dev. Ed Duncan Hall - Rm. 330

Appalachian State Univ. Boone, NC 28608


There are a number of exercises in the book by

Malcolm Knowles, "Self-Directed Learning",

Arthur Kingsland <\^^/> Telephone: +61 49 215783

Faculty of Architecture )==( Facsimile: +61 49 216913

The University of Newcastle //\\

N.S.W., Australia, 2308 _// \\_ arajk@cc.newcastle.edu.au


"Warmups, Grouping Strategies and Group Activities" by Roger Johnson and David Johnson

available through the Interaction Book Co.

7208 Cornelia Dr.

Edina, MN 55435


They have a long list of books on Cooperative learning methods


I have found the following books to be helpful. They are from MindWare, 6142 Olson Mem. Hwy., Golden Valley, MN 55422.

"More Than 50 Ways to Buils Team Consensus" item #T3760

236 pages cost $15.95

"100 Training Games" 176 pages item #T3850 cost $21.95

"100 ways to build teams" item T2737 192 pages cost $15.95

They have an 800-999-0398 number

There are probably more interactions than are humanly possible here but I have found a few helpful ideas for use in my classes. They are well presented with the rational, methodology and any materials needed plus the context they are best used in.

Ted Panitz tpanitz@mecn.mass.edu