Jena Simms | Wichita Collegiate School | Wichita, Kansas
Give students the opportunity to interact with their peers in a positive way with team building exercises.
So in my classroom, I like to change the student seating arrangement about once a month. I find that it’s kind of a fresh new start for the students, and they get very excited. And one thing I like for them to do is do a team-building activity that I call, Bottoms Up! All they’re doing is putting their feet on the floor, their bottoms are up in the air, and their heads are towards the middle of the table, and all they’re doing is they’re talking and discussing and chitting and chatting about a new team name. This is a fun experience for all of them. I find that they just love to pick new team names. Sometimes there’ll be three kids at a table, and one student wants one name, and three of the other students want another name. This is a really good lesson in getting along with others. So we get to talk about that at least once a month, about when someone disagrees with you, or wants to do something different than you, what’s an appropriate response? While the students already know each other in class. Team-building activities reinforce those social behaviors that are so important in a classroom: Being kind to all. Listening to everyone. Letting everyone take their turn. Allowing students to interact in a positive way in your classroom can only lead to good things. Allow students to pick their own team name. Allow them to have a handshake. Give them some ownership of their group at school. Try team-building in your classroom this week.