So at my school, we spend the first three days with our advisories (essentially homerooms where we monitor academic progress and personal growth through service learning) and this year, I really focused on building relationships with my students. So obviously, that involved some games and competition. But at the end of the day, people knew each other's names and we were cheering for one another. It was great! On the third day (last day), I had my new 9th graders go on a "Teacher Hunt." No teachers were injured in the production of this game, just so you know.
The day before, I had my upperclassmen give the new kids the "low down" on the teachers. Essentially, who is this person? do they do or say anything memorable? They went through the teachers with the freshmen then I took these characteristics and tweaked them to create this board:
The kids and teachers loved it! Essentially the teacher hunt went as follows: kids broke up into teams (no upper classmen, they had their own project to do), had 30 minutes to go get signatures and find that teacher. As an added bonus, I had my kids introduce themselves politely to the teachers rather than the generic, will you sign this please! But it was great because we got to discuss the blank boxes the kids had when they returned. Tisk tisk upper classmen. It also got the kids moving, being polite, and learning who their future teachers could be.
It was also easy to make to boot! I just made a 5 by 5 grid on word, added a header, put some clues in each square and boom! Done in 5 minutes, kept kids entertained for half an hour. It rocked. Totally doing this next year.