Ice Breaker on the First Day

You are part of a classroom of 20 Chinese teachers you have never met before, put into teams of four, given 150 paper cups, and allowed 20 minutes to build the tallest free-standing structure you can create, and you can only communicate in English, ready, go! It is quite amazing what you can learn about your new classes by simply observing and listening during this ice breaker. The tallest structure came in at a height of 68 inches, very impressive! This led to a very interesting conversation comparing US customary units of measure and the metric system used in China. The three keys of SABEH were introduced through this hands-on activity: interaction, comprehension, and thinking skills.

Over the two weeks of instruction each class completed a book entitled Journey Across China From A to Z for me to share with my students when I returned to my third grade classroom in the fall. Such a thoughtful and personal gift!

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