Monday, June 16, 2014

Team Building in the Classroom

It's important that students be able to work together as a team in the classroom.  Working as a team helps students see each others strengths while also building positive relationships and a sense of togetherness.

Here are a few team building ideas to try in the classroom:

1) Empty the balls from the top bucket into the bottom bucket

2) Mine Field: Students pair up.  One student puts on a blind fold and cannot talk.  The other student in the pair has to give verbal directions to the blindfolded student to help them navigate an obstacle course of your making.

3) I love my friends who... Place chairs in a circle.  Have one less chair than students.  One student starts in the middle and begins, "I love my friends who..." and completes the sentence.  Example: "I love my friends who wore jeans today."  Everyone who fits the category gets up and tries to find an empty chair (at least 2 chairs away from where he was originally).  Whoever is left in the middle leads the next round, "I love my friends who..."  This game gets students moving, sitting next to other students they might normally not sit by, and also lets students share their interests.  

4) Tent Pole: All students in group put two fingers on the bottom of the tenet pole.  As a group students must work together to raise the tent pole up to desk-height and then back down. If anyone's finger(s) come off, then students have to restart.  

5) The Human Knot: An oldie, but a goodie!  Have students stand in a circle.  Each student puts out one hand, grasping the hand of another student across the circle (this is a good time for students to introduce themselves).  Then student reach out their other hand and grasp the hand of a new person (again, introductions).  As a group, this tangled knot now attempts to unwind itself into a normal circle without letting go of each other's hands.  

As always, make sure to pick games and activities that work for your students.  Some of these games require a lot of close, physical proximity to each other.  Choose games that allow your students to work together and to get to know each other.  While some games can ask students to step out of their comfort zones, it's important to ensure that students are not embarrassed.

Do you have a favorite ice breaker or team building activity?  If so, please share it in the comments section below!

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