Monday, August 29, 2011

Strengthen connections by getting to know one another... the fun way!

Posted by Mitch Zeltzer

For most kids September marks the start of a new year and not January. September brings a new school year, a new class, a new set of teachers and often a new set of friends. It is our role as educators and parents to provide children with the opportunity to strengthen their connections with their peers. What's great about this is that: (A) It could be fun, and (B) We, as educators/parents, will also benefit from these strong connections, in the form of less conflict and more positive interactions.

Earlier today we posted a Team Tip on our Twitter feed it was:
"TeamTip 25: Learn something new about 3 people in your class, group, or workplace." (via @getdynamix)
Everytime someone learns something new about someone else, they strengthen their connection, it's that simple! There are tons of ways to break the ice and get to know your peers, here's one that we've suggested in the past: Be There or Be Square! (<-- Follow this link for a complete description and printable templates for the activity)

Be There or Be Square is a fun / quick activity that you can not only use to get to know your peers, but can also use as a great structure for content review and more! Simply adjust the discussion topics accordingly, and away you go!

Remember, if you have fun, so will the kids, so get in there and play with them!!

Good luck and be sure to let us know how this activity works for you!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Teamwork... at it's best?

Posted by Mitch Zeltzer

While I LOVE the brilliant teamwork at play here, I just hope these boys also use their brilliance for something other than video games!

Happy Friday to all!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Game of the month: Reset!

It's hard to believe, but the first day of school is just around the corner. Here's a great ice-breaker to help you get a jump start on building your classroom community.
(of course there are many other great applications for this game too!)

1 index card per player
(or you can make it a bit harder for older participants by using a deck of cards)

To get to know the other players, to have fun, and maybe even to win a round or two!

If you are using the index cards, you will need each player to write his or her name on a blank index card before the game can begin. If you have multiple players with the same first name, be sure to instruct them to include their last name initial or their complete last name.

If you are using a deck of cards, you simply need to distribute one random card to each player.

  • Everyone starts with his/her card
  • On "Go!" players are to mingle around and pair off
  • Once in a pair, players should share something specific. (You might have the group share their favourite food, or the most exciting thing they did over the summer, etc. Be creative and switch up each round)
  • After players have shared information, they are to trade cards
  • Players continue to mingle sharing and trading as they go
  • After about a minute you should call "RESET!"
  • Players must now try to get his/her original card back
  • Play continues in the same manner, sharing and trading, but now if a player get his/her original card back, they quickly make their way to the front of the class and give you a high five!
  • That player is declared the winner of this round
  • Get everyone to quickly give the card they are holding to the person it belongs to and play another round, this time you can have the winner of the previous round pick the topic of discussion for the round