Team Building In The Classroom

24 Mar

Over the next few days, I’d like to offer up some ideas for team building exercises. I attended a conference a few years ago called COCA (Children’s Oncology Camping Association.) For 9 years now, I have volunteered every summer at Camp Can Do, a week-long sleep away camp for kids with cancer. It is the most rewarding, enjoyable week of my entire year, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When I was offered the opportunity to attend COCA, I jumped at the chance. There, I learned great ideas for fun icebreakers and team building activities that don’t necessarily have to happen at camp. After struggling with some animosity between my students, I decided to use some of the ideas from COCA in my classroom. Especially at the beginning of the year, I spend the first 5 or 10 minutes of class letting my kids learn how to work together.

Would You Rather…

We’ve all played this game, either at slumber parties, amongst coworkers, or sitting around the dinner table. I personally love to think about my answers to these questions, and it’s always interesting to hear what others say. I also like to play this with my students. We put a line of masking tape down the center of the floor, and they all stand on it. Then, as I read the question, I indicate which side of the line they should step to, depending on their answer. There’s always one kid who likes to be different despite what the answer is. There’s always one who changes his mind if everyone else steps the opposite way, even if he can’t explain why he’s switching his vote. And then there’s always the two students who argue back and forth over why it’s better to be deaf or blind. This little game is definitely a conversation starter, and a great way to read your students’ personalities without them even knowing it.

Would You Rather…

Visit the doctor or the dentist?
Watch TV or listen to music?
Be invisible or be able to read minds?
Have a third arm or a third leg?
Be hairy all over or completely bald?
Be the most popular or the smartest person you know?
Be handsome/beautiful and dumb, or be ugly and really smart?
Repeat 4th grade for a year (at your current age) or spend a month in jail?
Always be cold or always be hot?
Always lose or never play?
Only be able to whisper or only be able to shout?
Be blind or deaf?
Be stranded on a deserted island alone or with someone you don’t like?
See the future or change the past?
Be three inches taller or three inches shorter?
Live to be 100 but have health problems, or live to be 50 and healthy?
Have to always say everything on your mind, or never speak again?
Not be able to sleep or not be able to walk?
Be trapped in an elevator with wet dogs or 3 large men with bad breath


One Response to “Team Building In The Classroom”


  1. Summer camp fun, school-year skills come together for Napa students | The Blog - July 22, 2014

    […] Team Building In The Classroom | Teaching Alternative Art Lessons […]

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