Variety of warmers and ice

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Variety of warmers and ice-breakers at the beginning of a lesson








To ensure successful learning and teaching, teachers must use a number of skills from their considerable learning armoury. These include: planning, recording, challenging, demonstrating, securing, managing, adapting, explaining, discussing, interrogating, reviewing, evaluating, modifying, establishing and questioning. Now ask yourself if you could do all of that without planning for it.

The effective lesson plan is the means by which all of these things are prioritised and orchestrated. It is the means by which we can provide for the diverse and complex elements of learning lesson on lesson. The planning that underpins lessons must be robust, relevant and manageable.

Planning what and how we teach is something that every teacher embraces every lesson of every day of their teaching career. The days when teachers could go in to a lesson without planning have long since and thankfully disappeared. Lesson planning for the 21st century requires a deep knowledge of a variety of issues. Effective curriculum managers know who within their teams can model the way forward for others and who will be the weakest links in need of strengthening and support. The aim is always to raise the team’s performance and attainment, and collaborative lesson planning can provide the catalyst for that.



1. Classroom warmer or ice breaker have to relate to the lesson


Many teachers insist that the warmer or the ice breaker has to relate to the lesson. It could certainly relate to the topic, but it does not necessarily have to present anything specific. It could be used as an exercise to introduce a topic, but not to teach the topic.

The role of the warmer is to warm everyone up for the lesson and the role of an ice breaker to break the cold ice of the other language. At the least, this activity should get the students thinking in English. It's can be likened to doing a quick stretch before going for a run. If you don't do that stretch, you often struggle to perform well and also deal with aches and pains afterwards. It cannot stress enough how important a good warmer is to a lesson.

It's so important that if I wasn't allowed to incorporate a warmer in a lesson, then I would rather not teach at that school. All know it sounds drastic but it's really just to show you how valuable I think it is. The warmer is the first activity that the students will do in the class, and it also sets the tone for the entire lesson [3, c. 43].

If you have not managed to break the ice in the beginning, then you will have a very hard time getting people to speak or having students to raise their hands. This activity attempts to glue the students together as a team by allowing them to have fun together. People like having fun, and if you allow them to do so, then they will allow you to be who you are with them too. It quickly helps them forget their worries of the day, and encourages them to pay attention in your lesson.

It should only last for about five minutes and it can be as crazy as you choose it to be. I've taught lessons at an online school for a year, and even online lessons have warmers included in their lesson teaching slides. It can involve jumping, singing, dancing or any other silly thing that makes them look a bit of a fool. It even helps if you look a bit of a fool, because it removes that barrier that allows them to relax and learn.

There is a difference between relaxing and learning and having respect for you as the teacher, as you still remain the person who calls all the shots. The crazy fun is over when it is and you will have to quickly change the activity to something more focussed on the language.

Keep a document or a file with a list of warmers as you will constantly have to come up with something new. After a few months of teaching, you will be able to start reusing the ones you started with, but make sure that you are constantly adding to this bag of tricks to break the ice [5, c. 77].

A simple example with very young beginner levels is to play the “elevator” game.

The floor is zero and the ceiling is ten. Students crouch down and touch the floor as you call out the numbers “zero, one, two...” They repeat what you call out and move very slowly towards the upright position. They imagine that they are the elevator, and you sometimes get to the eighth floor, and have to quickly return to zero.

You build up the anticipation as you go up and down, until you eventually get to the tenth floor. When you get to the tenth floor, you jump and scream the number, and they will do the same. This is a great warmer for learners who have just learned the numbers, or for others who already know them well. The next step is to give a student the chance to call out the numbers, while the rest of the class follows.

Another great warmer is the whispering game. You whisper a sentence in English into the first students ear, who then does the same to the next student, until the last student has to say what they have heard. In my experience, it never ends up the same as you initially told the first student and when you tell them what you actually said, they always burst out laughing at how the sentence was contorted. The laughter is what breaks the ice. This warms the class very quickly.

Games and “playfulness” as a way of warming people and helping them to focus their minds are complemented by the way the classroom looks and how a teacher greets the learners. Music playing, pictures on the walls, the furniture arranged attractively, curious objects, coloured cloths and smiling faces drawn on the board can all help to get the lesson off to a good start.

Ice-breakers and warmers can vary in form, but they both should be easy to do and bring some fun. The number of warmers and icebreakers is not limited. There are already existed ones, composed by such educators as Deller, Lindstromberg, Hadfield, Klippel, Wright and others. A teacher can also use his/her own ideas to create new warmers and ice-breakers, the number of which is limited only by a person’s imagination [1, c. 21].



2. Ice Breakers and Warm-Ups


The following exercises designed to help people get to know one another.

1. If you were to write your Autobiography, what would the title be and why.

2. Write on the inside of your tent card (table name card) a fact about yourself that no one would be likely to guess. Read them out loud. Gives people a hook. (i.e., “Faith, who raises sheep.” ).

3. Draw a picture that describes who you are -- can be symbols, colors, you doing something...

4 Create a flower. Each person puts one petal on the flower, on which is written something important about them. If we can find something we all have in common we put it in the center.

5. Human Scavenger Hunt, where you find things interesting about each person from a list that might be work related or not. Items like, find someone who has coached a CFG already, someone who has taught in another country, someone who has created a portfolio that works... People share who they found in the whole group [4, c. 71].

6. People at each table find four things they have in common and share with the large group as an introduction. Can’t be anything about education. (At one table, all had an Uncle Harry they didn’t like).

7. People post one clue about themselves (with no name) on a bulletin board. Later in the day, add another clue beside the first clue (more if there is time) and people guess identities from the clues at the end of the day. People make assumptions and then they find that it’s very revealing and fun.

8. Post cards from the edge. Bring a collection of wild postcards and hand them out. Each person finds something in the post card that relates to their experience as a teacher or principal and shares that with the group.

9. Give out pennies and look at the dates. Go around the room and share something that occurred for you in the year of the penny. It can be something about your education (as a child, a teachers etc.) or it can be just about life. You’ll need a good collection of pennies with varied dates [2, c. 19].

10. Skittles. People grab one, there is a guide by color: Yellow, something you’re doing this summer; green, something about work; red, an adventure you’ve had in education, etc. Whatever you want for categories.

11. North, South, East, West. It establishes strengths: North: do it now (action); West: organizational (structure); East: vision (meaning); South: feelings (caring). See directions in almost any CFG handout collection.

12. Gingerbread people. Hand out Gingerbread people, who have a question on each of their body parts: what gives you indigestion (stomach), what drives you crazy (head), what you love (heart), what you bring (one leg), what you want to let go of, (hand) what you want to take away. Each person takes a turn introducing themselves and answering the questions. They can write them in and post them all, with their names on the Gingerbread people.

13. Draw your school - either a picture or a floor plan, show challenges, strengths - personalize school by what you think makes it special. Share pictures.

14. Write down powerful learning experiences from when you were age 10 to 13. Share them.

15. Line up in birth order and share schooling in small groups that break up roughly by generations or clusters of years and share out.

16. Movie titles that describe your school experience and why.

17. Change style indicator and score yourself, validate Conservers, Validators, and Initiators of Change, Pragmatist. (You’ll need the directions to do this).

18. Read Alexander’s Horrible Rotten Day (children’s book) aloud, then ask people to share their Bad morning experiences.

19. Two truths and a lie: you share two things that are true and one lie about yourself (as an educator or a person - decide on one) and the group tries to guess which one is the lie. “What you would like to be true?” is the follow up question [6, c. 98]




The most important thing about lesson planning is that it supports teachers in the daily search for excellence and transformation and for this to happen it must be relevant and purposeful, long on impact and short on tedium. In the hands of skilled and sensitive professionals, structure and purpose will be tempered by flexibility and intuition, enriched by creativity and imagination and distilled by professionalism and the belief that every child matters, as does every teacher.

The ideas of well-known educators are presented in the current paper’s classification of ice-breakers and warmers. The peculiarities of teaching learners of a specific level should be kept in mind while preparing a certain activity. Thus, the ice-breakers and warmers are not the same for all levels. In the present classifications the ice-breakers and warmers are divided into several groups: ice-breakers and warmers for beginner, elementary, intermediate and advanced classes.



List of used literature


1. Banville, Sean. 1000 ideas and activities for language teachers. – Japan: 2005. – 243 p.

2. Davis, Barbara Gross. Tools for Teaching. – 2nd edition. - San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009. – 593 p.

3. Haager, Diane. Janette K. Klingner. Terese C. Aceves. How to teach English Language Learners // Effective strategies from outstanding educators. – 1st edition. – San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. – 194 p.

4. Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English language teaching. – 3rd edition, revised and updated – Cambridge: Longman. – 371 p.

5. Lindstromberg, S. The Standby Book. – Cambridge UP, 1997. – 249 p.

6. Wright, Andrew. Betteridge, David. Buckby, Michael. Games for Language Learning. – 3rd edition. Cambridge University Press. 2006. – 193 p.

Описание работы
To ensure successful learning and teaching, teachers must use a number of skills from their considerable learning armoury. These include: planning, recording, challenging, demonstrating, securing, managing, adapting, explaining, discussing, interrogating, reviewing, evaluating, modifying, establishing and questioning. Now ask yourself if you could do all of that without planning for it.
Introduction 3
1. Classroom warmer or ice breaker have to relate to the lesson 4
2. Ice Breakers and Warm-Ups 7
Conclusion 9
List of used literature 10