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7 Digital Icebreakers for #BacktoSchool

Laptop, tablet computer and cell phones
(Image credit: iStock/scanrail)

“It’s the little conversations that build the relationships and make an impact on each student.” – Robert John Meehan

Back to school is around the corner! Building strong relationships is the key to a successful school year. We need to ensure every student knows we believe in them no matter their past behavior or performance. Every student walks in the class with a clean slate not only with you, but also with their peers. Students need the opportunity to get to know each other and appreciate each other’s strengths, skills, and differences. If your students feel you care about them they will be more open to learning in your class. Additionally, if students get along with each other then they help one another succeed. Below, are seven digital icebreakers to begin the school year and a slideshow with many more. Also, check out my post, Get Learners Pumped Up with Back to School Buncee Icebreakers. Buncee is a very cool digital poster and presentation web tool and app. I am one of their ambassadors.

Get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers (opens in new tab) or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers,!

Back to School Icebreakers from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Icebreakers & Resources

  • Epic Selfie Adventures– Send students on an epic selfie adventure. Download the free slide presentation students you can adapt here.
  • Mobile Show and Tell– Divide students into small groups. Each student spends about 30 seconds sharing a personal photo from a mobile device and the anecdote behind the photo.
  • Vision Boards– Students create a goal collage or vision boards with a digital poster tool, such as Buncee.
  • User Manual About Me– I discovered this activity on Terri Eichholz’s blog, Engage Their Minds. Learners create a User Manual about their learning styles, interests, values, and so forth using an infographic tool, such as Canva or other infographic tool. Terri provides an example with Canva.
  • Digital Bingo– Click to download your copy. Use Buncee or Nearpod (accessible on any device) to get students to fill them out digitally.
  • QR Code Jokes– In Learning to Go, I provide a template. Create QR codes with jokes and their answers. The red QR codes are the jokes and the black are the answers. Students must introduce themselves to their peers and find the peers with answers to their jokes.
  • Emoji Get to Know You– Use only emojis to answer the following:
  • Current mood
  • How many pets
  • Favorite color
  • Favorite foods
  • Favorite season
  • Hobbies
  • Favorite holiday
  • Dream Job
  • Favorite emojis

Challenge: Try any of these tips to begin building solid bonds with students and help them build bonds with each other!

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Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at