Thursday: August 15th (All Grades)
1st Meeting – Introduction to Morning Meetings
-What is a morning meeting?
Everyone is sitting in a circle on the floor.
10-20 minute discussions designed to establish communication and build a sense of community (belonging)
Creates a place where they can open up and share how they think and feel
not curriculum based
Helps the teacher learn more about class culture, power struggles and relationships between peers
-Framework of the morning meeting
Teacher is more of a facilitator than a teacher
There’s not one “right” way to lead a class. Some prefer more structure while others are more flexible
Go over rules during first meeting (Listen with your eyes, ears, and heart)
Frequency (minimum): Elementary – weekly
Links to 1st class meeting ideas:
-What Do You Need From Me?
-Twenty Kinds of Class Meetings
Friday: August 16th (All Classes)
Team Building Activity Ideas
1. Art Reproduction Puzzle
Divide students into groups of six or eight (or larger if you want to make the task more difficult). Provide each team with an image and blank pieces of white card stock, one per team member. First, each team must cut up the image into the same number of pieces as there are group members. Then, each player will take one of the pieces of the image and reproduce it onto their blank piece of card stock with pencils, colored pencils, or markers. (If the team cuts the image into irregularly shaped pieces, each team member must then cut their blank paper into the same shape.) When every team has created the pieces of their puzzle, they will switch pieces with another team. The team will work together to solve the puzzle.
2. Hot Seat
This fun game is a lot like the game show Password. Split your class into two teams and have them sit together in teams facing the white board or chalk board. Then take an empty chair—one for each team—and put it at the front of the class, facing the team members. These chairs are the “hot seats.” Choose one volunteer from each team to come up and sit in the “hot seat,” facing their teammates with their back to the board.
Prepare a list of vocabulary words to use for the game. Choose one and write it clearly on the board. Each team will take turns trying to get their teammate in the hot seat to guess the word, using synonyms, antonyms, definitions, etc. Make sure team members work together so that each member has a chance to provide clues.
The student in the hot seat listens to their teammates and tries to guess the word. The first hot seat student to say the word wins a point for their team. Once the word is successfully guessed, a new student from each team sits in the hot seat, and a new round begins with a different word.
3. Hula-Hoop Pass
This activity helps kids work on listening, coordinating, and strategizing skills. It works best with smaller students. Have your students stand in a big circle. Place a Hula-Hoop on one student’s arm and have them join hands with the student next to them. Ask all the other students to join hands to close up the circle. The objective of the game is to pass the Hula-Hoop all the way around the circle without unclasping hands. Students will have to figure out how to maneuver their bodies all the way through the hoop to pass it on.
4. Eye Contact
This is a great activity to support nonverbal communication skills. Choose 10 students to participate in the first round. The others can gather around the edges and watch. Designate a player one. To begin, player one makes eye contact (no words or hand motions) with another player (player two) and gives them a signal that means go. When player two says go, player one starts moving slowly toward them to take their place in the circle. Player two then makes eye contact with another player (player three) and gives them a signal meaning go and starts moving toward them. The objective of the game is to time each player’s command so that each player makes space for the others in time. After the first round, switch out the teams until everyone has had a chance to play.
5. Marshmallow-and-Toothpick Challenge
Divide students into groups of equal numbers. Pass out an equal number of marshmallows and wooden toothpicks to each group. Challenge the groups to create the tallest, largest, or most creative structure in a set amount of time, each member taking turns doing the actual building. Afterward, have each group describe what they made.