Classroom team building activities are great for the first few days of school. But have you ever thought…we really need to be focused on curriculum and standards? Let me be the first to raise my hand. I thought team building was just a great way to get to know each other and that we really didn’t need to worry about it for the rest of the year.
Team Building Is Important
I am here to say I was wrong. Team building is essential in the classroom all year long. It helps students to build trust, encourages communication, and problem-solving, increases collaboration, and so on. These are skills students should work on all year long, not just at the beginning of the year.
I am a routine girl through and through. Personally and professionally, I THRIVE on routines. I know that if I don’t create a routine around something, it won’t be something I do regularly. This is why I implemented “Team Building Tuesday”.
Every Tuesday, for our morning meeting time, we do some sort of team-building game or activity. Tuesday quickly becomes the student’s favorite day of the week. Here are just a few of the team building activities we have done in the classroom.
Classroom Team Building Activities
Pass the Clap
Students sit or stand in a circle and the first person turns to the next person and they have to clap at the same exact time. Once they achieve this, the 2nd person turns to the 3rd person, and so on. The goal is to get the clap all the way around the circle. Eye contact is very important in this game and we try to see how fast we can get around the circle.
Meet Me in the Middle
Students stand in a circle and the first person makes the statement “Meet me in the middle if you think _______.” Any student who agrees with them moves to the middle. Then everyone moves back out and it repeats as each student gets to make the statement.
Compass Name Game (You, Me, Left, Right)
Students stand in a circle, while one student stands in the middle. The student in the middle stands in front of someone and says one of these words YOU, ME, LEFT, or RIGHT. The other student then has to name the person. So if the middle person says LEFT, the other student would say the name of the student on their left. If the middle person says YOU, the other student says his/her name. When the middle person says ME, the other student says the name of the student in the middle. If a person messes up, they switch with the person in the middle.
Blanket Name Game
Divide the class into 2 teams. You will need a blanket or sheet of some sort to block each team from seeing the other team. One person from each team will stand directly behind the blanket. The blanket will drop and the first person to stay the name of the other person standing in front of them wins!
Divide the class into groups 4-5. Give each group a set of cups. Students try to build the tallest tower in 5 minutes.
Start with the letter A, and the first person says, “On my way to school I say an __________.” They choose something that begins with a. The 2nd player says, “On my way to school I say an alligator and a ________.” They would choose something that begins with b. And so on until the last person says all the items from the alphabet and ends with z.
Index Card Towers
Divide the class into groups 4-5. Give each group a set of index cards. Students try to build the tallest tower in 5 minutes. Students may not use tape or scissors, but they may bend the cards. I don’t usually tell them they can bend them, I try to see if they can figure it out.
Divide the class into groups 4-5. Give each group one set of dice and each student a piece of paper. The first student will roll the dice and try to land doubles. The student to their right will write tally marks on their sheet until the other student rolls the double, then the dice are passed to the right and the next student begins to write tally marks. Play for 5 minutes and the student with the most tallies wins.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Waterfall
Each student finds a partner and everyone plays a round of rock, paper, and scissors. The winner moves on to find a new partner, but the loser will get behind the person who won and cheer them on. After the 2nd round, the winner now has 4 people behind them cheering them on as they find another opponent. In a few minutes, you’ll be down to 2 players with half the class cheering on one person, and the other half cheering on the other person.
Virtual Team Building Activities
You call out an item and the student goes to find it in their room or house. It could be anything!
Ten to Win
You say a statement and if it is true for the student they put a finger up. For example, “I am not wearing shoes.” The first player to have all 10 fingers up wins.
Put a Finger Down
This game is the exact opposite of “Ten to Win”. All students begin by holding up all 10 fingers. You say a statement and if it is true for the student they put a finger down. The first player to have all 10 fingers down win.
Would You Rather
Ask a would you rather question and students hold up a 1 if they would choose the first choice or they hold up 2 if they would choose the 2nd choice.
Last One On
Students pick a number 1-6 and hold it up with their fingers. You roll a dice and whatever the number lands on, those students turn off their camera. Continue until there is one student who is the last one on.
Follow the Leader
Ask one player to leave the call or go into a breakout room. Pick a leader who will begin motion and everyone will follow it, they will change motions during the game. Ask the player to come back and they are trying to guess who is the leader.
Just Like Me
Students begin the game with their cameras off. The first person has their camera on and unmutes to say “If you think __________, you’re just like me so turn your camera on.” Students who agree with the statement turn their cameras on. Then everyone turns them off and the next player goes.