TEAM BUILD the 1st week back!

Scroll to the bottom for quick access to easy and fun team building activities. 

Aside from sharing your few non-negotiable LAWS or RULES, there really isn't anything more important the first week of school than team building. Why is this so important? Well, let us enlighten you! 

Those "trouble maker" kids more than likely have never felt like they were a part of anything positive. It could possibly be the reason why they act out in class and continually stir the pot. All students need attention, the key is to focus on positive attention for positive behaviors. Leaving the past in the past and allowing these kids to become a part of a team really can serve to change their attitude in your class and believe it or not, a small act of inclusion as a part of a team OR even offering a potition of leadership in your class can really work towards changing the life of a student who needs you! A trouble maker as a leader, you say?? Absolutely. These students obviously possess leadership skills, because they hold the power to disrupt your class and take even the best planned lesson off track. The trick is using their skills to promote positive attitudes. Many time involving them in the leadership of the class will turn things around. Alternatively, those "strong but silent type" kids are really hidden jewels. Seriously, these kids are likely the leaders you have been desperately needing to help you unite your team (class). Now, keep in mind that they could also just be painfully shy and in need of a connection to a larger group that will accept them and enable them to come out of their shell. The key for both types of quiet, shy students is feeling safe and comfortable. Team building activities serve to unite your class and allow them to learn that your class is a safe place for everyone. 

If you've read this far, as a CTE teacher, I have to take the opportunity to promote involving your students in the CTSO experience from the very beginning of the school year.  There are many AWESOME career and technical student organizations available for you and your students depending on the career cluster.  Business Professionals of America,  Future Business Leaders of America and SkillsUSA,

just to name a few! My experience is with SkillsUSA and I can tell you that my involvement with the organization as a professional member and an advisor for some truly amazing students changed my teaching life and worked to change the lives of my students.  The resources provided with your professional membership will provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding team building, promoting leadership and community service, and building essential employability skills that industry demands in future employees.   Things I LOVE about SkillsUSA:

one stop shop for every CTE career cluster.  They offer something for everyone, giving your CTE department the ability to form a big team atmosphere amongst all CTE career pathways 

focus on development of employability skills through the SkillsUSA Framework.   They do an incredible job of providing a common language for teachers and students and provide a ton of resources for delivering these skills to your students

championship conferences and opportunities for recognition of advisor and student accomplishments, in my opinion, no one does it better

I hope you'll check them out! Ultimately, the choice of a CTSO will be deciding which one works best for you, your students and school district.   

Kristen Borgognoni's post on The Odyssey Online really does a fantastic job of making a case for why all students should be involved in a CTSO.  

Why ALL High School Students Should Join a CTSO - what they are and why you should join one.

TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES 

Here are a few easy to implement team building activities to get the year started!

The ever popular, HAVE YOU EVER? Have You Ever is one of the most popular “getting to know you” games for a reason—it’s simple, effective and fun. 

Have students stand in a circle, each on a marker, with one person in the center. The person in the center of the circle is “it” and will ask a question starting with “have you ever?” followed by something they have done (Example: “Have you ever gone to Disneyland?”). I think it's fun to add a CTE twist to the game by making the questions career cluster related. Such as, have you ever cut someone's hair and messed it up? :) The person who is “it,” and everyone in the circle who has done the thing that was asked, must move to an empty spot, but not the spot right next to where they were originally standing. Whoever is last to get to a safe spot becomes "it." Blind Builders

Divide the class in teams of 3 students each, with 1 leader per team. Every team gets a copy of building structure they are supposed to be constructing, along with the building material. Only leader has the access to the structure, but he cannot touch the building material. The leader has to direct his teammates to replicate the structure from the provided building material. This helps the class to understand the importance of giving precise instructions and executing them to the word. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/team-building-activities-for-high-school-students.html Shoe Pile Mingle

Ask everyone to take off one of their shoes (only one of their shoes). Have everyone throw their shoe into a big pile in the center of the room. Playing Shoe Pile Mingle Game Explain the rules of the game. Once everyone takes off one shoe and throws it into a big shoe pile, have everyone randomly grab a shoe. The goal is to mingle and go around the room, introducing yourself and talking to many people and trying to find the person whose shoe you are holding. Warning! This game may be a bit smelly. But that’s okay — all in the name of teambuilding and breaking the ice, right? The Band Aid Game 

I believe that students NEED to understand the difference between fair and equal. Especially in the classroom where you will need to differentiate instruction based on the learning styles of each student. This is a great activity to build a sense of community and teach a valuable lesson about being fair. There are a couple of different ways to set up the activity. I like to ask for 5 volunteers to become patients. We step outside for a moment and I ask them to pick an ailment like a headache or tummy ache. Anything that wouldn't require a band aid for treatment. When we are back with the class, they will approach me one at at time and "act out" their ailment. "Oh teacher, I feel terrible! I have a splitting headache!" The teacher will be empathetic to each student by explaining how sorry you are for how they are feeling. Then, put a band aid on their hand or arm and tell them to feel better soon and please return to class. Your students should play-argue a bit about the band aid not being what they need. You explain that it's all you have any ask them to return to their seat, moving to the next student ailment. Continue to stress as students complain or question the band-aid, simply say that it would not be fair if everyone did not get the same thing. Questions for discussion: Was it equal that everyone got a Band-Aid? Was it fair that everyone got a Band-Aid? Why or why not? (Everyone getting the same thing wasn’t fair because it didn’t help most of the students. Sometimes students will do different things in class, but everyone is learning and getting what they need. It is important not to make anyone feel bad about doing something different.) Depending upon the age of the students: What other things in the classroom are our “injuries” like? What else can the Band-Aids be compared to? (The Band-Aids are like getting the help you need in class. When a teacher is working with a small group or individual student, interrupting or distracting them is like taking away the student’s Band-Aid.) **Variation: Give all but the last student a band-aid. Add in a discussion of how it felt to be the only one without a bandaid. There can be other variations of the activity depending upon the age of the students, but this can certainly be used in a discussion format with middle school students and teens. We hope you have a fantastic 2017-18 school year! Best wishes from F.A.C.T. Education! "It's a F.A.CT... CTE Changes LIVES."  



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