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My Mamma Said



Cute video and so true! I love that Rita points out that we need to tell the parents that we respect their home rules but we also need to have a second set of rules.


Do you ever wonder why fighting is on the rise with students these days?
Why are there so many behavior problems? It's not only fighting... there are many children who lack respect for authority, have difficulty following directions, and lack social skills.

I think it boils down to TEAM BUILDING. 

In my years of teaching, all of these behaviors seem to be a part of a bigger picture. Children are fighting over the silliest things. I feel these children are not learning the problem-solving skills needed to be productive students. Students are lacking social skills simply because they haven't been taught how to handle various social situations. There will always be disagreements and conflicts within the classroom but we need to incorporate team building activities so students will feel confident and comfortable when they arise. When your students get to know you and each other in a fun and supportive environment you are able to establish a the kind of rapport that will enable you to have a trusting relationship with them throughout the year.


Let's share some of our favorite team building activities or strategies. Leave comment below with a tip, game or strategy. Then I'll compile a little sheet for easy access. I'll pick 2 winners to win my happy notes and behavior beads.









COLORS OF THE RAINBOW


This activity is an icebreaker for children who need to be introduced to each other.  Either pass out a handful of Skittles (if allowed) Do not let them eat their skittles yet.  Each color skittle must symbolize a certain aspect of their life, such as red is for things you love to do, green is for things you hate, yellow is for favorite foods, blue is for friends, etc.  The students can go around the room sharing about themselves.  You may want them to just share about the color that they have the most of instead or keep going until your time runs out.  


   
 

27 comments:

  1. I do a brain breaks where the students have to work together. 1. The student have to line up in order (ABC, height, age or whatever you choose). The catch is they have to do it without talking. 2. We also play pass me a five where the students have to pick someone to high five and give a positive thought.

    MrsGiles
    docketta@yahoo.com

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    1. I do something similar. There are so many good instant challenges from Destination IMagination that help!

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    2. I love this. The pass me a high five sounds so positive. Thanks for sharing your tip.

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  2. SKITTLES!!!! You know I LOVE Skittles! Thanks for sharin' another Rita Pierson video. I'm diggin' the way she thinks for sure! I'll probably get ridiculed for sayin' this, but I really believe it is my generation's fault for the lack of respect for authority. I could write a book on this topic and my beliefs. On a positive note, I still need to get my Bee Happy notes!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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    1. Oops my generation too? She is an inspiration. So sad that she passed away recently.

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  3. To get our year off to a good start, I mail postcards the week before school starts to say Welcome to My Room and then follow up with a phone call during the first week. It helps build the relationship with the families:)

    Tammy
    The Resourceful Apple

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    1. I love the postcard idea. I've been doing them too but this year I want to design a really fun one. I like the phone call home the first week. :)

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  4. I like the skittles idea! Rita Pierson"S video was a great one to watch. I love the way she explains things. Thanks for sharing.

    Shelly
    Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. She's wonderful.

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  5. Great post and great video clip! Thank you for sharing that find, I am pinning this so that I can share with others!
    Erin
    Short and Sassy Teacher

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    1. She is great.. I'm sad to find out she passed away recently.

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  6. I like the "Find Someone Who..." worksheets where students can learn about their classmates and find out what they share in common. It's fun to partner students with people who are not their closest friends and interview each other. The first week of school I assign lunch seats and give students a topic to discuss with their table (and take notes!) Topics vary from what they hope to learn this year, to what qualities do you want in a friend. I mix the students up each day, of course!

    Hokie Teach

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    1. Love them too! Thanks for sharing your tip. Reminds me I need to make some new Find Someone Who sheets.

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  7. I like doing a team puzzle challenge and the activity where two kids sit back to back and have to stand while only using their legs and leaning on each other. It's a powerful way for kids to see that they need each other and can't do everything by themselves.

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    1. That sounds really neat. I bet it's very powerful.

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  8. Give teams of students a pile of newspaper (equal amounts for each team) and a roll of masking tape. They are to construct the tallest structure that will still stand without anyone holding on to it. They really have to work together! Love the Rita video...I like the way she thinks! :)

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    1. What a neat idea! Thanks for the tip

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  9. In second grade, we did the "find someone who" sheets and at my college orientation 6 years ago, we did the skittles activity. I like both but I've recently found the idea of a beach ball with questions written on it as SO much fun. You toss the beach ball around and wherever the left or right thumb lands, they answer that question about themselves. Could do it once around the whole room OR over and over again to have your kiddos get to know each other. Another team building/getting to know you activity I enjoy is when kiddos write acrostic poems. Each kiddo describes themselves by using the letters in their first, first and last, or last name. It's too funny when you read them at the end out loud how kiddos describe themselves!

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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    1. So many fun ideas. I love the find some who sheets as well. Beach Ball sounds super fun. Thanks for the tips

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  10. We do so many different types of relationship building activities in the beginning of the year, esp. for kinders. I have the children pair up, first by ABC/Number order and they have a verbal cue to discuss (favorite place to eat, where they like to play, pets, etc) and then we share out. During our sharing out, I chart the commonalities we all have with each other; this visual reminds us that we are more similar than not. We also read the No, David! books and create Peacemaker and Peacebreaker reminders that hang on the wall year-round. This is especially helpful when a new friend enters the room and the designated helper for that child shows him/her the ropes and rules of the room and school.

    The video clip is one that I have visited often and I find myself constantly referring to Ruby Payne's book. My school population is about 97% Free and Reduced lunch so the reminder of hidden rules is essential.

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  11. I love the marshmallow challenge - I posted about it here
    http://inthatroomwithheidiharrell.blogspot.com/2013/07/ice-breakers.html.

    Heidi

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  12. I agree, children do have a hard time with this important skill. Add to that teaching at a private school, so a lot of my students are only children and the world revolves around them at home!

    I do a lot of the things listed above, and another fun teamwork idea is one I found last year where the students have to 'rescue' a gummy worm. (Here's where I found it http://www.fabulous4thgradefroggies.com/2012/08/1st-day-of-school-fun-currently.html.) They had to complete the task...and it took some groups a LONG time since everyone wanted to be in charge!

    Can't wait to see all the ideas!

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  13. I agree! More and more it boils down to needing to work on team building. If children learn that working together we can all achieve more it will make for a much happier classroom. Before we can really expect children to work together, they have to get to know each other. My favorite way to do that is to have children bring in a brown paper "all about me" bag filled with some of their favorite things to share with the class. It is very informative for the children as well as the teacher!

    thepolishedteacher@gmail.com
    The Polished Teacher

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  14. I have really began focusing on team building activities in my weekly lesson with classes. I have used the skittles activity. I also have one with candies or other objects in which they must tell something about themselves. If someone else has that same quality or has done the same activity they toss a candy or object to that persons pile, if no one shares this attribute then no one tosses. It is fun to learn many things about each other and to see that sometimes we are alike even when we didn't think we were.

    Rebbecca
    rkzoglmann@gmail.com

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  15. A team building activity that my students love and beg to do again and again is the human knot. They form a circle, then they all grab two different people's hands (making sure it isn't a person next to them). At this point their arms are all tangled up. They need to straighten themselves into a circle by crawling over and under each other's hands without disconnecting. They quickly find that it doesn't work unless they work together and verbally help each other out and share ideas.

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  16. A team-building activity that my students love and ask for again and again is the human knot. They stand in a circle and each person holds two different people's hands (making sure it's not a person next to them). At this point their hands are all crisscrossed inside the circle. Then they have to untangle themselves into a circle without disconnecting their hands. It is a challenge, and they quickly learn that they all have to work together and share ideas verbally to accomplish the task. Sometimes when arguing ensues I remind them to listen to all ideas (since a few students sometimes tend to dominate). Often students who are quiet and thoughtful help to solve it when the louder ones pause and give them a chance to share their ideas.

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  17. I start the year with a book called The Best Part of Me. It is a book of short descriptions by children with black and white pictures. It is a great book to start a discussion of our differences, similarities, and self esteem. I then create a display called The Best Part of Me: Celebrating Our Differences that I leave up all your long with a close-up black and white picture of each childs part they wrote about with their description. It is a great starting point for team building to get children to respect each other and the diversity in our room.

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