If you don't know who Fred (the amazing Back to School Ice Breaker) is, check out my earlier post here.
I really wanted to do this activity much earlier in the school, but there was so much to do Fred was a little forgotten.
Today we had our county mandated pretest in Language Arts to supply base data for the year. After an hour of testing, my little ones needed to get up and move around to release some pent up energy. This is where Fred came in and saved the day!
I had five groups all working to put Fred's lifejacket on before he drown. I tried to tie it into our Social Studies unit on the Inuit tribe by making Fred be the bait to lure seal and walrus in so the Inuit could survive a long winter. Fred, being Fred, thought he was just too good for a lifejacket and even went so far as standing UP in the boat. Of course it capsizes trapping Fred's lifejacket underneath. Silly Fred.
We are still working on using our Inside Voices, but for the most part they did a great job working together. There were no arguments, no tears, no one sitting off in the corner by themselves. Only one group lost Fred to the swift Arctic currents.
I tried something else this year in order to get more of them interacting with each other. I had each group split up and go sit at someone else's desk so that there was at least one person from each group together in a brand new one. Then I had them share how their group managed to save Fred. The technique was amazingly similar and they were all participating.
Once again Fred revealed a lot more about my group than I would have learned without him.