This week we worked quite a bit on learning all about each other. We are working on building our classroom community and the more we are comfortable working together the better we work. We are learning to accept each other and know what everyone brings to the team. We did a few fun games to help us learn to work together but one of those games really stuck out. The teamwork tower required everyone working together for a common goal. There could be no "hogs" (someone who does all the work) or no "logs" (someone who does nothing). Everyone played a vital role in getting the job done. It was not an easy task. It forced us to be patient with one another, listen to each others ideas, pay attention and stay focused on the task. All of these skills are needed each day when we work in small groups to complete a task.
I had no idea that this little game would open up so much conversation and allow us to really build those bonds as a team. As soon as they got started I noticed just how well they were doing and I grabbed my camera and started snapping away capturing the teamwork in action. They really were cheerleaders for one another, very kind to each other and celebrated each others successes which was amazing to watch!
First, I gave each team six red Solo cups, and a rubber band with four strings tied to it and told them they would have to build a six cup tower like the model I had without touching the cup OR the rubber band. They looked confused and I got worried. I then gave them 3 minutes to discuss a plan of action without touching the materials. They had to talk it out and decide how they would attempt this task. They huddled up and shared lots of fun (and some funny) ideas of how they would make it happen. Once the timer went off they began. The conversations were great but the work was even better. (This is when I ran to grab the camera!)
It was not easy. They had to try many strategies until they perfected their method. One group finished quicker than the rest, cheered loudly, and begged to try it again. Eventually three of the four groups had made a tower but one group was still struggling. They refused to give up. I stopped everyone and we had a conversation about the fact that this year there are going to be things that come easy to some of us and prove challenging to some of us and we are not going to stop until everyone reaches their goals. We talked about how we were not going to make people feel bad for their differences and how we would work to make everyone know that they are part of the team and it does not matter what time you cross the " finish line" as long as you cross it. They then offered a few words of advice to the struggling team and that also opened up conversation that we learn in different ways and we will be able to learn from each other this year too. Eventually we wrapped up the conversation and the final team completed their tower. The class cheered as the top cup remained steady and all towers were complete.
It was a great team building lesson and it made me so excited to call this bunch of kids mine for the year. They did great work and made me so proud. The conversation allowed for us to learn even more about each other and I think it really helped add a little extra to the overall feeling of community in room 153!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Come back again and see what else we are up to as we make our way through a fun filled year of 5th grade.
(**Note, this was an activity I found on Pinterest. I made it my own version, but the idea was not original.)