Bringing A Classroom Together: Team Building Ideas For Teachers

Posted on: 22 August 2017

Building your classroom community is an essential part of student success in your class. Many teachers like to spend a few days at the beginning of the year helping the students get to know one another, establishing expectations, and building up trust between the teacher and the student. 

Breaking the ice in the classroom can sometimes be a challenge. You'll want to plan some engaging activities where your students can get to know one another while working together to solve a problem. Try to incorporate team building activities into your daily lessons plan. They don't have to be long, but they can set the tone for the year. 

Here are some specific ideas you can try with your students this year:

1. Blind Count

This is a simple team building exercise that can work at the start of a lesson. Have each student bring a blindfold from home. Divide the students into two teams, and have each team form a circle. Each student should then put on his or her blindfold. 

The object of the game is to have each team count up from one in a circle, one person to the next. No person should be skipped, and no number stated incorrectly. This can be hard because the other team will also be counting nearby, and with the blindfolds, you won't know exactly who has spoken last. It requires listening and getting to know the voices on your team. The team that gets to the highest number without a mistakes wins the challenge. 

2. Noise Maker

Choose one student to be the listener and place a blindfold on the student. All the other students should form a circle around this student. Show the group a normally noisy object, like a bag of marbles or a set of jingle bells. The listener is trying to discover what the object is, and the rest of the students try to hide the object by passing it around the circle as quietly as possible.

3.  Build a Tower

This activity helps to foster creative learning and problem solving as a team. Choose two or three students to represent the rest of the class. Have a number of "building supplies" like blocks, spaghetti, marshmallows, pipe cleaners, and tape. These three students must build a tower, but they can only do what the rest of the class tells them to do. The tower must "perform" in some way within a certain time limit. For example, after ten minutes, the tower might be certain height, or it might be strong and level enough to hold up a pool ball.

Another variation of Build the Tower is to divide the students into smaller groups to compete on which group can create the best tower. Small group activities help students to get to know each other on a more individual basis, and the entire class can enjoy what each group creates. 

4. Make a story.

Make a Story can be a great addition to any class. It helps to inspire individual creativity to contribute to the goal of an entire community. Students might stand in a circle or sit at their desks if the desks follow a logical order. Pass out a picture to each student of an object, animal, or place. These can be quite random or even outlandish (for example, unicorns, the deep sea, or pencil shavings). Begin a story. Each student must add a sentence to the story that incorporates the thing in the picture. You might record the story for the class to enjoy at the end. 

For more ideas, you might consult a team building event planner for cost effective and appropriate ideas for the school setting.