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good beginnings ideas


laura mae

I am in charge of the opening activity for the next faculty meeting. We do something called "good beginnings." Teachers take turn about opening the meetings with some kind of cutesy group activity. I'm not the cutesy type and have no cutesy ideas. However, I don't want to seem like a dud. I need some cool 10-15 minute "ice breaker" type activity ideas. Please help! Example activity: A kindergarten teacher had us all sing and do the hand motions to some little song her kids sing. I'm a fourth grade teacher. About 50 people will be participating in the activity. We can break into small groups. I hope I have provided enough information.


Senior Member
Maybe you can do an icebreaker idea where everyone has a list of characteristics (like 15-20) that the faculty is likely to have.


A person that speaks a foreign language.
A person that has received a master's degree in the last 12 months.
A person who has taught at the school for over 5 years.
A person that has served in the military.

etc., etc., etc.

The faculty wander around talking to each other trying to find people who will sign their grid or list. They cannot get a person to sign more than 2 spaces on their sheets. Maybe you can give a prize to the people who get the whole sheet filled out in the amount of time you give with a different person on each item.

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
Opening idea

Here are a couple of books which lend themselves to choral reading, if you want to open with a poem or a short story. They are Poems in Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (HarperCollins) and You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman, illus. by Michael Emberly (Little, Brown). You also could write a "morning message" on the board, welcoming everyone to the meeting and have them edit it with you. Not too cutesy, but quick and easy. I don't envy you having to do such a thing.



Sudoku puzzles are really "in" right now. You could enlarge and copy an easy Sudoku puzzle and have a race to see who gets it right in the shortest time. People could work in pairs, maybe threes. More than that is hard to see the puzzle. Have a Sudoku puzzle book (or three) as the prize.


Senior Member
how about

the pizza hut song (with the hand motions of course)?
or high point - everyone just quickly has to rattle off what the high point of their day was - some can be very funny :)


New Member
Telephone Poems

How about telephone poems???
Each person will create a short poem using their phone number.
Each number represents how many words must be in each sentence. You may determine if "0" will be zero words or ten words.
You choose a topic and they create and share. If this is done in small groups, have each group choose their favorite one and then share with the whole group. This can be a lot of laughs.
232- 6454
Topic: Color Crayons
(2) Color Crayons
(3) smell so sweet
(2) and are
(6) so smooth and sleek, I like
(4) to keep them sharp
(5) and sitting in neat rows
(4) not up my nose

You can have each group choose a topic of their own, if you don't want everyone writing about the same thing. Adults can be pretty silly when it comes to this kind of activity, so expect some good laughs.


Senior Member

Faculty meetings are bad enough, don't understand why we have to do these "cutesy" things at our school sometimes. Can you just pass it on to someone else or get out 10-15 minutes early by skipping it?


Senior Member

1. this requires some prep: go around to everyone (or email) and find out one thing about each that NO one (or almost no one) knows. (like very few people know that i was once in a bikini contest (i was dared!)--the more outrageous/interesting, the better--one year we learned that one of our staff members had been on jeopardy! anyway, everyone guesses whose comment they are.

2. one year (a few days after we ALMOST had a snow day--we have one about once every 10 years) our principal asked us what we would have done with our day off. sadly, of course, i said i would come in to work to get caught up!


Food is always a big hit. Can you bring snacks and have "secret" numbers under each plate. After everyone has enjoyed a snack you could call out numbers and give out some sort of silly prizes.... I can't really think of any at the moment. I don't really like cutesy activities, but I do appreciate snacks and a good laugh.


Senior Member
another idea

I can't STAND cutesy activities myself, but I've seen this one entertain before. Everyone gets the name of a famous character taped to their back when they enter; they don't know what's written on their own back. They all have to walk around asking only yes or no questions to figure out what's written on their back. It can be entertaining if there's a good combination of silly, serious, and infamous characters (and hey, there's nothing like 'coincidentally' labeling the most annoying person in the building with a name like 'Osama bin Laden' or 'Goofy'). And at least you don't have to sing.....

Laura Mae

Great ideas!

I am such a dud when it comes to this kind of stuff. I am always amazed at how much more creative everyone is compared to ME.

These are great ideas. I like the food ideas and giving away prizes. I think these would go over best at my school. We have a bunch of people at my school who HATE these activities that we MUST sit through (myself included). I would rather just get the meeting started and get it finished. Feeding people or giving them something might make this more tolerable. I just really hate the thought of trying to entertain these people who won't even try to hide the fact that they don't want to be doing any of this. I'm with them. I'm tired at the end of the day too. I'd rather just go home. Oh well, it's my turn.

Thanks everyone!!!! I do appreciate the help. Feel free to share more ideas.