What Do We Have In Common?
At the beginning of the year, I had each student fill out a form with basic information about themselves. There was another section for them to list "Favorites" and anything else they want me to know about them.
As an ongoing "get to know you" activity, a few days per week, I take a few minutes at the beginning of class and call a few students up front.
No one has any idea why they are up front.
I ask everyone in the room to guess what these students have in common based on the things they wrote on their information sheets and some things I already know about them.
1) I called 5 students up front and said they all have something in common with me. After a few guesses I gave some vague clues such and they eventually figured out that the thing they all have in common is that they each have a Birthday in the summer when school is out, hence no treats at school for their Birthday and we had donuts that day and sang Happy Birthday to them (and me)
2) Another day, I called 5 students up front and the thing they had in common was they were all born outside the USA. I gave clues like asking everyone in the class where they were born and eventually they all figured out that they each were born outside the USA.
3) Another day, I called 2 students up front and the thing they had in common was they all like pizza.
4) One day, I did not even use information from the forms. I called up everyone who was wearing blue jeans.
5) Another day... the thing they all had in common is that they play a musical instrument.
This is a great way to get multiple uses out of those beginning of the year information forms and get your students mixing and mingling.