Category Archives: Opening Rituals

Activity: Creative Problem Solving

Make problem solving fun through this interactive activity that gets students thinking critically and working together as a team.  Students receive an issue in the community (graffiti, littering, violence, bullying, etc.). As a group, students must think of different ways … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Interactive, Opening Rituals, Review & Reflection, Teaching Tools, Team Builders | Comments Off

Teaching art or design? Start with a drawing exercise…

Are your apprentices all ramped up when class begins? A great way to get them settled in quickly and quietly is to have a routine of beginning a quick drawing activity as the first item of the agenda. Many apprenticeships that involve arts, design, or engineering aspects can develop great opening rituals that involve art. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

Introductions in a Court Room

Many apprenticeships that are taught in partnership with law firms work towards putting on a mock trial as their WOW! In an effort to make the experience as authentic as possible, students are usually exposed to many new legal terms, phrases, and formalities. Apprentices usually have difficulty understanding the legalese used in court documents because it is the first time they are exposed to it. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

One Tip at a Time

It’s always a great idea to add a bit of humor to the mix when considering your opening ritual. Many apprenticeships that involve the outdoors aim to teach students skills they can use while hiking, camping, mountain biking, or otherwise enjoying the wilderness. Teaching students how to spot poison ivy is handy and useful, but can be rather boring when it involves just looking at pictures of the plant. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

A Friendly Game of Pictionary to Introduce New Topics

There aren’t many games that are more easily adapted to just about any subject matter than Pictionary! There is absolutely no excuse as to why you can’t adapt this classic game to your apprenticeship; the materials are minimal: writing utensil, something to draw on, and a heaping helping of imagination! You have everything on that checklist?…then you can make Pictionary your opening ritual! Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

Express Yourself: Warm-up with “Simon Says”

If you are doing activities that require the students to do some acting or improvisation, possibly for a documentary video, PSA, or theatrical production, consider doing some activities to get students more comfortable. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

Begin with a Reflection Activity: Pay It Forward

This idea was in everyone’s head in 2000 when Haley Joel Osment starred in a movie by the same name. However, at Citizen Schools, we look at every day as an opportunity to spread kindness to others just for the sake of, well, being kind! Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

Take a Pulse Check

“Use the thesaurus to find a synonym” – try saying that 10 times, and fast! Although it is quite the tongue twister, building your apprentices’ vocabulary is important for them in school and for their future career. A fun way to ask students to push the limits of their vocabulary is to play a game called “How You Be?” as your opening ritual each week. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

Make Connections: Six Degrees of Separation

One of the hallmarks of the Citizen Schools apprenticeship model is exposing middle school students to careers they might like to study in college or pursue after high school graduation. In order for us to accomplish this goal, we must provide them with the tools to network and make connections with people or companies when they are ready to start their career. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off

Greetings and First Impressions

Do you have a smartphone? Instead of catching up with a friend over a good meal, do you have a conversation on the phone or send an email? As adults, technology is transforming the way we socialize; think about the middle school students you work with – they are growing up using technology to socialize! As a result, the upcoming generation is less likely to know the conventions of meeting new people in a formal atmosphere. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Opening Rituals, Teaching Tools | Comments Off