Help your students reconnect with a sweet spin on show-and-tell!
The time away from school has been scary for many of us, both teachers and students alike. And it’s vital to start the new year off on the right foot by establishing a classroom where our young learners know that it’s completely o.k. to be a little unsettled by all of this “new normal” since they last set foot inside of our physical classrooms. They are not alone! And it will help them to know just how many of their classmates have been going through the same sorts of questions and stress in their time away.
But even in times of uncertainty, there are always “Lucky Charms” to be found in the world around us that can help bring us hope if we only know where to look. I designed this activity to help teachers create a sort of virtual “show and tell” for the first weeks of school as they get to know the new students in their classroom. Think of it as a mix of old-school icebreakers and an easy invitation for student share out using the familiar game of BINGO that can be played by folks at any age. What I really love about this approach is celebrates the shared experience we are all going through during this COVID-19 pandemic, and it helps students reconnect with one another through the opportunity for shared conversations around even the smallest milestones of the quarantine like binge watching a new TV series, spending an entire day in our PJ’s, or simply chowing down on a big bowl of cereal in place of a regularly scheduled dinner one night.
Whether we’re virtual, hybrid, or socially distanced in the physical school building — this year more than ever it will be essential that teachers can help our students feel safe and supported in this unenviable “new normal” regardless of the grade level or content area that we teach. The sooner we can help their students feel comfortable and connected with our class norms and the stories of their peers, the more likely they are to feel safe, supported, and ready to learn.
This activity was designed for classrooms of all ages!
All you’ll need is a working internet connection for each player and a copy of the slide deck — which means that this game can be played in a socially distanced classroom OR in an online class meeting! Here’s how to play.
- Save a local copy of the activity template for yourself. The template is fully editable, so you’re welcome to make whatever changes you need to add additional questions or tailor the activity to the unique needs of your students.
- When you’re satisfied with your activity template, make a brand new Google Slides presentation containing ONLY the click-and-drag BINGO boards on slide #3. You can now send this out to every student in your class (and each student will now have their very own BINGO board template).
- The “Lucky Charm” icons on Slide #3 can be clicked and dragged into the blank BINGO board template, so that each student will have the opportunity to create their very own BINGO board. Each charm is a clue to what it will take to cross this item off of the list, so encourage your students to make educated guesses as they plan their boards wisely! There are 30 different icons included in the default template plus a center square “WILD CARD” space that all students will have the chance to complete once that icon is called.Students can arrange their items in any order they’d like. Once everyone has made their boards (share screenshots or use the honor system) — you’re ready to play!
- Click through the remaining slides in any order on the teacher’s screen that you’d like to play a full class game of “Lucky Charms in Quarantine.” Students can use the “X” marker in their copy of slide #3 to keep track of their progress and cross individual items off of their BINGO boards as you go. Encourage students to use the chat feature or take some time between rounds in class to facilitate peer to peer dialogue and team-building. This is an easy way to help establish class communication norms, while giving students the opportunity to share some of their “Lucky Charms” from a time where they might not have felt so connected to their classmates. Share their stories as they cross individual items off their board. It’s a cross between authentic icebreakers and a virtual game of show-and-tell!