*Instructor Magazine*had shared a "get to know you" activity for the first day of school having students write down five things about themselves and then wadding up the paper and having a snowball fight with classmates. When the fight was concluded, students could open up the snowball they ended up with and read five things about one of their classmates...getting to know each other a little bit better. I loved the idea- but not for the first day of school. I decided then that I would save the activity for the first snowfall of the year. We are currently working on systems of equations, so as a warm-up activity I had students put their name on a clean sheet of paper along with a couple of systems of equations for a friend to solve from a certain page in their Algebra Books. When the students completed this I told them how much I loved snowball fights and that we were going to have one right in the classroom. Their eyes lit up right away. I shared the rules- 3 chances to throw a "snowball" at a friend. After their third throw they were to pick up a snowball close by and sit down and then solve their systems of equations. How many times does a teacher hear, "That was fun. Let's do that again!"? The best part of all (besides the smiles on their faces) was the fun practice we had doing our math...and I didn't mind tossing a few snowballs myself!

I did exactly this a few years ago with my 6th graders on first day of school. It was fun!

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