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Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class

In order to teach children, we need to build relationships with them. In order to work comfortably with each other, they need to build relationships with each other. 

 Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships.

So how can we build relationships while staying socially distant? How can we build relationships when we're working remotely? 

Schools are opening in a variety of ways: in person, completely online, or some hybrid version of both of these. No matter how your school is opening, these things are important:

  1. Building bonds of trust with your students.
  2. Helping students build bonds with each other.
  3. Get to know the students academic abilities,
  4. Help the children get to know your expectations and procedures. 
This blog post suggests some team building and getting to know you activities, but these same activities will also help  you get to know your students, while showing your expectations as well!
 
Many team building activities can be done in a socially distant class as well as online. Here's one way:
 
Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships.

Morning Meetings are a great way to start the day! I like to start with some sort of greeting, which can be done if we're all in the same room, or if we're working remotely. These Morning Meeting Greeting Activities come with a fun question for every single day, a nice picture (that can be used as a background for remote learning) and the same writing prompt that can be printed or sent home electronically. 

Whether you're in school or at home, Boom Learning activities are a must! They're amazingly easy to assign in class or online. They're compatible with every platform, and can be sent home with just a link. Plus, the teacher can monitor how each child is doing!
 
Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships. 
 
Who am I Boom Cards are perfect for the beginning of the school year. This is a chance for the children to think about who they are, and how they can contribute to their class. 
 
Plus, they get plenty of reading and writing practice! (And the teacher can assess these skills through their responses!)


Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships.
 
Building Friendships is a popular Boom Resource that gets the children thinking about making good choices when it comes to socializing.


Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships.
Good Citizenship Boom is a great opportunity for children to think about social situations! This will help them learn what kind of expectations you have in your class. The stories give them plenty of examples of positive interactions in the classroom and on the playground.
Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships.
 
This resource has a collection of games and activities for building Classroom Community that can be played in a Socially Distant Classroom or remotely:  20 Socially Distant Team Building Games and Activities to Build Classroom Community
 

No matter how you are going back to school this year, I'm sure you'll find ways to build relationships with your students. What's your plan?

 
Team Building, Ice Breakers, and Get to Know You Activities for Distance Learning or In Class: Some suggestions for building relationships.
 

25 Alternatives to Handshakes

I always took pride in teaching my students the proper way to complete a handshake. After all, shaking hands is a life skill, isn't it? Well, probably not any more! But we still need to greet each other!
Building community in the classroom involves interactions.
 
Children (and adults) need to greet each other each day. The skill of positive interactions is one I am proud to teach because it is one they will need for the rest of their lives.

I think we can agree, handshakes are out. But there are parts to the handshake that have value: a moment of "connection," eye contact, a greeting, and a respect for the other person.

I've come up with a list of 25 different greetings that students can do as part of a morning greeting, and end of school meeting, or simply saying hello to their teacher in the morning. Plus, they can be done in online meetings as well!

Here they are:

#1: Give the peace sign!

#2: Give each other heart hands!

#3: Give air hugs!
25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#4: Share a squirt of hand sanitizer!

#5: Wave!
25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#6: Smile with your eyes!

#7: Jazz hands!

25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#8: Give each other a salute!

#9: Do a "One Second" Dance!

25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#10: Raise your eyebrows!

#11: Do two claps!

#12: Throw your hands in the air!

25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#13: Blow air kisses!

#14: Do a fist pump!

25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#15: Give the "Sup" nod!

#16: Give a thumbs up!

25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#17: Make a heart with your hands!

#18: Give the "Live Long and Prosper" signal from Star Trek!
25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#19: Give "air" high fives!

#20: Place your hand on your heart!

#21: Namaste!
25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

#22: Bow to each other!

#23: Wink at each other!

#24: Give each other the home alone face! (Without really touching your face, of course!)

25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.

 and #25: Have your class make up your own greeting!

Well there, now you have 25 ways to start or end your day that can be used in a socially distant classroom or during remote learning!

Here are some other ways to build community and team work in the classroom:



25 Alternatives to Handshakes: Greeting classmates is an important part of bonding as a class and building relationships.
 
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