Creating a friendly and supportive community among your class's students is a worthwhile goal, but it is one that is difficult to achieve quickly. Here, from David Royse, are some "warm-up techniques" to try on the first day of class, to encourage the students to relax with, interact with, and learn from each other.
- Interviews a fellow student and prepares a 45-second introduction of the person on his or her right or left.
- Informs the class of something very few people would know (e.g., once shook hands with the President).
- Describes the unique cultural experience or community in which he or she was raised.
- Shares a wish, hope, or fear about the class.
- Says, 'To know me, you would have to be familiar with the book ______'.
- Lists three adjectives that best describe him or her.
- Jots down a pet peeve or myth.
- Describes any relevant events or experiences that might make him or her an 'expert' on some area (e.g., lived in Belize for two years in conjunction with Peace Corps assignment; spent last four years working midnight to dawn in a bakery)." -DG
Source: David Royse. Teaching Tips for College and University Instructors: A Practical Guide. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2001. 59.