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Whats in a name?
When students are referred to by name, they are given the sense that the instructor knows who they are and
cares about them (Shapiro, Farrelly, and Toma, 2014, p. 19).

Consider how being aware make it seem as though there least the first three class ses-
that the instructor knows are four people with the same sions. When returning the
their name might affect stu- first name, often students go work, pay attention to the
dents motivation and be- by a middle name, a nickname, names and name tents. This
havior in and out of the or even their family name. can be a mental quiz for the
classroom. instructor to match work to a
Idea #2Use card stock to
name, helping to make connec-
Idea #1Have students create name tents that stu-
tions between the two.
sign-in on the first day with dents place in front of them
their full name and, in a during class. Be sure to collect Idea #4Ask students to cre-
separate column, the name them at the end of class. ate avatars for discussion
they would like instructors boards. That way their photo
Idea #3Have students
to use when addressing can be seen every time they
work on something in class
them. Although a first post to the discussion board.
that must be handed in, at
glance at the roster may

Ice breaker activities

Creating community on day one will set the tone for the entire semester and give the students a readily avail-
able support system as they adapt to their new environment (Shapiro, Farrelly, and Toma, 2014, p. 17).

Idea #1Two truths and a Idea #3Names- This can be munity. They also provide a little
lie- Students (and the instruc- done by individuals or as part of fun to wake everyone up and get
tor!) write down three facts the interviews and introduc- them active during long class ses-
about themselves/their expe- tions activity above. Students sions.
Shapiro, S., Farrelly, R., and
riences. One of the facts are asked about their own
Toma, Z. (2014). Fostering Just keep in mind that what stu-
international student success in should be untrue. The rest of names. Who chose the name for
dents share should largely be de-
higher education. Alexandria, the class has to guess which them? Why was that name cho-
VA: TESOL International
cided by themselves. There are
one is false. sen? Does it have a special
Association. some topics that are perfectly ac-
meaning? Is it a common or
Idea #2Interviews and ceptable in our culture that could
Special thank you to ESL and unusual name in their home potentially give an uncomfortable
FYE faculty who shared their introductions- Students can
country? Instructors can provide feeling to individuals from another
thoughts and experiences be paired by the instructor to
about the two topics above at a model by going first! culture. Structure ice-breakers so
improve the chance that they
Faculty Development Day, that everyone can contribute, but
do not already know each Note Ice-breakers are not
especially Matt Wilson, Liz
other. Pairs are given five restricted to the first class meet- in a way in which they feel com-
Slater, Liz Platsis, Kathy
Swanson, Monica Boyce, minutes in which to get to ing. Using them throughout the fortable.
Stephanie Gibbs, Allyson know each other. Then, each course can provide opportunities
McDonough, and Nycole to learn about each other and
student introduces his/her
partner to the class. develop a deeper sense of com-

Newsletter created by: Danielle Bergez, Academic Liaison for International Student Support,