JumpStart – Blobs & Lines Break the Silence

I’ve always found JumpStart an incredibly awkward experience.    The incoming 6th graders spend most of the day at school, but they only spend about five minutes in each class as they do a trial run of their schedule.   I have never really known what to do with them for those five minutes (or maybe a little less).   It’s not enough time to really do anything when no one knows each other but it’s too much time to just sit there.    So, I usually have them do quick introductions and introduce myself and we sit around kind of awkwardly for a minute or two.

This year, I changed things up a little bit.    I met them at the door and told them it was their job to find something they didn’t already know about each person in the room.   When the bell ending passing period rang, I came into class and introduced myself and said we would do just a little bit of getting to know each other during the few minutes we had together.   We used Blobs and Lines (I saw this on a blog, but can’t find where it was now that I want to credit it).   We stuck to “blobs” because we  had so little time.   I had them sort themselves by eye color, by the sport they play, by number of siblings they have, by the movies they have seen, by books they have read, by the kinds of pets they have, by their place of birth, and by places they have visited.   I played along so that they could get to know me a little bit as well.

This was a great experience.    Kids were getting to know each other a little bit (important since they come from four different elementary schools) and finding commonalities.   They were actively engaged and constantly moving (especially important in my section that is 100% male).   They were having fun and getting comfortable with a whole new environment, which is the whole point of JumpStart.   So, thank you, thank you, thank you to which ever wonderful blog writer shared Blobs and Lines.

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