It’s the middle of winter in North America. School has become routine. The second semester has begun for those students in middle and high school. For the second half of the year, try something new. Something spicy. Try intentionally building a team. A team that appeals to even the most introverted students. It starts with the proper seating arrangement and ends with intentionally building rapport among the team and the class.
To start the process, I like to break the class into teams of four. A couple teams of three or five are OK, but four is the magic number for easy partnering.
Consider the following observations and tips when assembling your teams and planning team-building activities for them:
See an earlier Scholastic blog post, "Building Trust in a Classroom," for more activities to help your teams gel.
In addition to team building, Kagan suggests that teachers do class building at least once a week. Class building should always be a fun activity in which the individuals on each team interact with other members of the class. The easy-to-read book Silly Sports and Goofy Games is full of fun games like Amoeba Tag and Triangle Tag. These games require few props, and the directions for the games are simple. Presented in the right way, yes, this even works for teenagers. The well-organized site Group-Games.com also has ideas to get you started. It is categorized by age, from elementary student to college student.
After the game, it's great to review the rules of being a quality teammate. I use the Scholastic poster below to provide a nice visual reminder.
Absolutely! The time spent allowing the students to connect and become accountable for one another will pay off. The students will be happier and more supportive of each other with any cooperative learning activities that you create. The class will be more efficient and willing to learn.
2i2 is a trademark of Mr. Vasicek’s class. www.mrvasicek.com