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Showing posts with label team building activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label team building activities. Show all posts

Why Encourage Team Building in the Elementary Classroom?

Why should we encourage Teamwork in the Elementary Classroom? 

This post tells some benefits of Team Building activities in the classroom and some ideas for including these class bonding activities with your students.

I've encouraged children to work as a team in my classroom for many years. Although they're not necessarily going to score better on those high-stakes tests, working as a team helps children develop many important skills!
 
This post tells some benefits of Team Building activities in the classroom and some ideas for including these class bonding activities with your students.
 

Here are some of the skills children learn from team-building activities:

  • communication
  • collaboration
  • listening
  • time management
  • problem-solving
  • putting others first
  • conflict management
 
Interesting, some might say these are "life skills!" Yes, these are skills that children need to develop to be successful in life, which I feel is far more important than being successful on tests!

 

This post tells some benefits of Team Building activities in the classroom and some ideas for including these class bonding activities with your students.

These are some activities to encourage teamwork in the classroom:

  • morning meeting activities
  • shared stories
  • project-based learning
  • STEM or STEAM projects
  • put on a class play
  • relay races
  • team trivia
  • partner work
  • plan a class party
  • scavenger hunts 
  • educational games, played as teams
I'm sure you can think of plenty more, including activities connected to your curriculum! Make sure to mention that the goal is to "work as a team," and "look out for the others!"
 
This post tells some benefits of Team Building activities in the classroom and some ideas for including these class bonding activities with your students.
 
Most important, motivate them to encourage others! Make sure these words are used often! 
  • Good job!
  • You can do it!
  • Awesome job!
  • You are incredible!
  • You figured it out!
  • You're on the right track!
  • You make it look easy!
  • That's the way!
  • You've got this! 
  • I can see you're really trying!

Here's an idea: let them make a list of more encouraging words, and display them for children to use as a reference. Be sure to model using encouraging words for your whole class team!

This post tells some benefits of Team Building activities in the classroom and some ideas for including these class bonding activities with your students.

Here are some helpful resources:

Here are some links for more information about Team Building in the classroom:

This post tells some benefits of Team Building activities in the classroom and some ideas for including these class bonding activities with your kids.

Dramatics in the Classroom

Children learn in many ways. 
I'm particularly partial to the arts. 

Research on the brain proves that the arts make strong connections with the memory. 
Today's post is about one of my favorite arts, dramatics!
Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

There are many ways to use dramatics in the classroom, and many reasons to do it!  Here are some of the "whys!"


Yes, it's true. It's a great place for those shy kids! It sounds odd, but seriously, when you give a shy kid a character to play, they really come out of their shell! Did you ever hear that many movie stars are actually introverts? It all makes sense!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Reading scripts gives the children practice with reading skills. And, of course, children need to learn to speak clearly. Dramatics give them plenty of opportunities to practice speaking in front of others!

Actors depend upon each other when performing. If someone misses a line, that affects all the others. Therefore, if all team members live up to their responsibilities, they will all be successful.

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!


When pretending to be a character, children need to put themselves in the shoes of the character, and think about how that character feels. They learn empathy!

 Actors must pay attention to the script and focus on what is happening in the performance.  


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

In the context of a performance, problems always arise. Children easily solve these while working together toward that common goal: a successful performance! 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Both verbal and nonverbal communication are important when putting on a play! Children learn to show their feelings with and without words. 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

When children put on a skit or a play, or act out a scene, they work hard together toward a common goal. That's the kind of thing that builds confidence and self-esteem! When it's over, they beam with pride!


Now that we understand why dramatics are beneficial to children in the classroom, here are some ways to fit dramatics into your busy day!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Not only is it fun to act out stories of the past, but as the children act out different parts, their movements settle into their memories. I often had my students act out the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, including saying goodbye to loved ones, the constant rocking, eating the ship's food, seasickness, (they loved that part) seeing a newborn baby on the ship, and sighting land. As I described each detail, they went through the motions, and were totally engaged in the trip! The best part? They remember it because they were physically involved as well as emotionally involved.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Similar to the above, but this one doesn't have to be from factual information. It works particularly well with group read-alouds, or if a group is all reading the same book.  It might sound something like this, "Show what Wilber's face looks like when Charlotte wove her web." Or maybe, "Show Max's face when he realizes his dinner is still warm."
Having to recreate these moments helps them build empathy and develop feelings for the characters in their stories.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

I remember having to memorize a list of vocabulary words every week. Do I remember those words now? Not many of them! Acting out the words makes them real. Plus, it works across the curriculum! Yes, even math!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Encourage writing stories that have characters having conversations! Kids are so creative, they might enjoy a writing prompt that encourages unusual "personalities" having a discussion, for example, "What would your pencil say to your paper?" or "What would your desk say to your chair?"  This really gets them thinking about conversations and personalities.


Reader's Theater is a favorite of the students as well as the teachers! Why? The kiddos like it because it's fun! The teachers like it because it incorporates so many important skills: reading, speaking, thinking, building empathy for others, and working together, to name a few! 

Here are a few Reader's Theater resources for you to explore:


Here's a series of character-building Reader's Theater where the children make up the ending:

Here's one more fun resource that the children love, especially when they can make up a voice for each character:

I hope you enjoy using dramatics in the classroom as much as I do!



Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Space Balls: Build Community and Team Building as Well as Imagination and Concentration!

Space Balls: 

It sounds like something odd, but it really is as simple as can be!
 
Space Balls are balls that are made up of nothing but space!

Space Balls: Here's a quick game that children love, that develops team work, concentration, and imagination. Plus, it doesn't require any materials!

Space Balls is a great game for team building, but also works on focus, concentration, and imagination! It works well in morning meeting, or any time of day they need a break.

Space Balls: Here's a quick game that children love, that develops team work, concentration, and imagination. Plus, it doesn't require any materials!

To start, establish what a space ball actually is: a ball made of space! Since you can't see the ball, it's important to show the size, shape, and weight of the ball by the way you hold the ball. 

Space Balls: Here's a quick game that children love, that develops team work, concentration, and imagination. Plus, it doesn't require any materials!

Then, slowly pass the space ball around the circle. 
Students should watch to see that the ball maintains its size and shape. 

For many students, that's enough for the first time.

Later, or on another day, introduce a "new" space ball, and review the concept by passing the ball around the circle again. Make the new space ball somewhat different from the first one. (smaller, heavier, etc.)

When the ball completes the circle, it's a good time to break the group into groups of 2 or 3 to play catch with the space balls. (Have some fun passing out space balls to each small group! Encourage their creativity by asking what sort of ball they want, then slowly taking that ball out of your "box" for them to see!)

Another option is to toss the space ball to someone across the circle. (See photo at top.) In these cases, remind the children to show the size and shape of the ball, remembering to maintain the size and shape.

Space Balls: Here's a quick game that children love, that develops team work, concentration, and imagination. Plus, it doesn't require any materials!

On another day, introduce the idea of changing the space ball. Model squishing the space into a very small ball, or stretching it into a very large ball. The space can also become quite heavy (grunting is encouraged) or it can become quite light like a balloon. The students' hands and body language should always show the size, shape, and weight of the space ball, so their partner can follow. 

Space Balls: Here's a quick game that children love, that develops team work, concentration, and imagination. Plus, it doesn't require any materials!

Now it's time to let the children be creative: pass a space ball around the circle, letting children change the space ball any way they want to.  The students should be very clear in taking the space ball from the previous person, maintaining its shape, then showing the group how they are changing the space ball.

 I'll bet you (or your students) can think of more variations of "Space Balls!" 


Can you think of a way to include curriculum concepts?
Please share these variations in the comments!

You might even see them playing it at recess time!
 

Looking for some other team building games?  

 

Looking for something that can be used for socially distant or remote learning? 




 
Side note: the teacher in the photo above is my daughter playing space balls with her students at summer music camp! She has her own blog, Me vs Rent!

A Few Summer Dollar Deals!

Ah, summer! Isn't it a wonderful time of year? 

Summer is the time of year most people enjoy going to the beach, going camping, or maybe just hanging out with friends. It's a great time to be outside!
A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

If you're still in school or working with kids during the summer, you're probably looking for things to do with the kids that also allow you to enjoy the summer! 

Well, I've got a few resources for you, and guess what... they're all dollar deals or free!

This is great for team building, plus important end-of-the-year review! 

A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

Here's a science experiment, perfect for warm weather!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!


Team Building is important all year!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

Themed paper can encourage children to write their stories!

Writing Paper With a Camping Theme

A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

This Boom Learning resource is totally free! Plus, it can be used any time of year for building general knowledge! (July birthdays love it!)


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

These helpful tools are perfect for those students who need hands-on reference tools!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

This resource helps children learn about their learning!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

Another totally free resource for July! Thinking questions and/ or writing prompts for every day of the month!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

These questions are perfect to get students talking about the books they read or listen to! They work for any book!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

This game is a favorite! They can play over and over, and practice adding 3 addends!


A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

If you're teaching at all during the summer months, I'm hoping these resources help make your life easier!

These deals give you a little more time to enjoy the summer weather and make your teacher life easier!

A Few Summer Dollar Deals! This post shares 8 dollar deals and 2 freebies that can be used at the end of the school year, during summer school, or in the early days of autumn!

Working Summer Camp? Or Summer School? How to Get Started!

Are you going to be working with groups this summer? 
Perhaps you're working at summer camp...
or summer school...
or volunteering at the library summer program...
or helping out at a summer daycare?

Whether you're a camp counselor, summer day care leader, or summer school teacher, here are some fun ideas to get you started this summer!

No matter what type of summer work you're doing, getting started is possibly the most challenging part of the program!

You may have a variety of children. You might have a variety of ages. You might have some children who know each other. You might have a lot of children who don't know each other. You might have very young children, or you might have pre-teens, teens, or older!

No matter who you've got, before the real learning begins, it's important to help children feel comfortable with each other.

Whatever you do, don't put them on the spot or ask them to talk to someone they don't know right away. Some children love that, others can "handle it," but others will clam up and get nervous about the next activity they do with you. 


What we really want is to get them interacting without having to talk... at first! We might even do something that will get them giggling! 

Here are a few games that will get them interacting, possibly giggling, without traumatizing them! (With links to directions!)


Once they get comfortable with one another, it's time to try some games where they'll have to talk to one another:

Still looking for more? 


If you're looking for more games, try the full set: 60 Team Building Games and Activities.

If you are teaching summer school, here are some fun summer-themed activities that focus on reading and math activities for second and third grade: Summer School Activities


Whether you're a camp counselor, summer day care leader, or summer school teacher, here are some fun ideas to get you started this summer!
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