ROTFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing)


Created by Val Ostendorf
Boise State University
EdTech 523
Spring Semester, 2011

Traditional face-to-face activity
The traditional version can be used with any grade. The teacher throws a roll of toilet paper to the class and tells the students to take as much as they need. However, the teacher doesn't tell students what it's for. After each student has taken some, the teacher has the students tear the toilet paper at the perforations. For each square of paper they have, the students have to share one fact about themselves.

Modified online version

Instead of using a roll of toilet paper, students can roll virtual dice and complete a similar activity using a wiki, message board, or whatever format the LMS supports or school allows. Depending on the number of students in the class, teachers could decide to have students roll 1 or 2 virtual dice. For larger groups of students (i.e. more than 25), using only 1 die is suggested, otherwise, the posts will be too long and students are less likely to read and respond to each other.

1) Each student should click on this link.

2) Choose "Roll '1' virtual dice." from the dropdown menu.

3) Click "Roll Dice". You may only roll once for the purpose of this activity.

4) Take a screen shot of the number you rolled. Save this and email to your teacher (or attach to your post) for proof that you used the website.

5) Based on the number you rolled, you will post that many interesting and/or funny facts about yourself on our (insert format here: message board, wiki, class blog, etc.) You want your facts to be specific and things that could build connections between you and other students in our class. In the end, hopefully we will all be "ROTFL" rolling on the floor laughing! :)
Poor example: I have a dog. (Not specific enough for other students to make a good connection to you.)

Good example: I've lived in 5 different states so far in my life: Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Colorado. (Supporting details give other students an opportunity to connect or build upon your fact. Not funny but a good start.)

Better example: I have a terrier-mix dog named Murphy who chases his tail and sometimes his back foot. He usually catches it and then make funny "Wookie" noises when he does!
(You can even link a YouTube video of your dog doing this. Then other students can relate stories about any animals they have now or had previously and funny things they do or did.)

6) In addition to posting that many facts about yourself, you must respond to at least three (3) classmates who post above you so that every student gets at least 3 responses. Students at the top respond to the ones at the bottom if you don't have more responses above yours. In your response, be sure to make some sort of connection or build upon to at lesat 1 of the fact(s) that student posted.


This icebreaker is designed for asynchronous interactions but could be adapted to a synchronous setting. To do so, the teacher could have the random dice opened as a screen share during a live lesson (i.e. using Adobe Connect Pro or some other synchronous meeting platform) and could roll the dice for each student (depending on how many students are present). Or students could use the random dice website on their own and then post that number of facts about themself in the chatbox. Then students could be sent to "breakout sessions" or separate rooms to continue making social connections.