blank'/> Promoting Success: Back to School Activities - Team Building with Students

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back to School Activities - Team Building with Students

It's that time of year again - back to school we go! You only get one chance the first few days of school to establish rules, routines, and a teamwork environment. Today, we are going to look at team building. Why is it important? How do we do it?

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Why is team building important?

Team building is very important if you wish to get the very best out of each and every student.  A positive classroom environment increases students' success in many areas!  It increases student motivation which directly increases productivity.

How can I build team work in my classroom?

1.  Encourage and value input from your students.  

Provide opportunities for the students to talk and share thoughts and opinions.  
  • What percent of classroom time is spent with the teacher talking?  
  • What percent of the classroom time is spent with students talking?  
The higher the percent of students talking (on topic and on task), increases team work.

You may also visit this post to learn more about reducing teacher talk time.

Here are some activities to obtain input from your students during the first few days of school:

Get to know your students with this All About Me interactive notebook activity. Allow them to share verbally with the class information about themselves.

 all about me interactive notebook craftivity

This How Well Do You Know Me? Name Game encourages communication by having students guess information about their partners.  It makes a wonderful icebreaker activity!

Gather input and show they are valued with this Words of  Wisdom interactive bulletin board activity. Students will give advice to their classmates for a "sweet" new year!

More back to school activities may be found HERE.

Here is a fun, "Mad Libs" type of game:

2. Establish classroom rules and routines with INPUT from your students.  

Students are more likely to follow rules and routines when they have something invested in them.  Allow your students to brainstorm (with your guidance and direction, of course) routines and rules that would ensure the success of all students.  You may be surprised of some areas of concern they discuss and rules to address these concerns.  As teachers, we don't always see everything going on in the classroom.

This Classroom Rules interactive notebook activity is a great way to allow students input in the rules and procedures of the classroom.  Students may add to the suggested rules, or they may create all news ones after a whole classroom discussion.

 classroom rules back to school activity

Display rules around the room. You may begin with these classroom posters, then allow the students to create their own versions to hang around the room.

 classroom rules printable posters

For lots more printable classroom rules posters, click HERE.

Classroom Rules Song:

3. Create a classroom environment that encourages teamwork. 
  • Depending on the size of your classroom, can you allow for work spaces for student to collaborate?  Are the desks in rows? Are the desks in groups?  
  • Do you have a group table for easy interaction?  
  • When a student walks into the room, do they get a feel of inclusion and cooperation? 
  •  Pretend you are a student in your classroom for a day?  How would it feel?

Visit this blog post to read about a teacher who shadowed a student for a day.

Decorate your classroom with student artwork. Show the students you value their work by displaying it. Create a positive environment!

This a great poster to remind students to include others.

 printable classroom poster for kids

This poster celebrates diversity.

 team quote poster for teacher classroom kids

This poster defines the behavior of a team.

 definition of a team quote poster teamwork

This poster reinforces we are all on the same team!

 teamwork quote poster chevron classroom decor

4.  Plan classroom activities that allow for students to work as a team.  

Brain research tells us that movement in the classroom increases student achievement. How? Well, movement causes your brain neurons to fire and become active.  Active brain equals active learning. 

Cup Stacking Team Building Activity:

Bus Stop - Duct Tape Teambuilding Game

Task cards are a great way to encourage teamwork and movement activities.  This resource gives you lots of ideas to get you started!

It also helps to know your students' learning styles.  Are they a visual learner? Auditory? Kinesthetic? This packet has an activity to help determine learning styles.

5. Celebrate student successes. 

It is important for students to learn to appreciate and acknowledge each other's efforts. Brainstorm words and phrases to compliment each other. Perhaps create a "Positive Words" word wall on which to add words and phrases throughout the year.  Celebrations can be be verbal or nonverbal. They may be an activity or special event.  Little tokens are also appreciated. :)

These stickers promote teamwork.

 teamwork stickers for kids

This classroom wall decal reminds the students of the definition of teamwork.

 teamwork wall quote decal vinyl

More team building activities from our Amazon Associate store:

 teamwork game for kids slider zoom ball

 parachute teamwork for kids

 team building book of ideas games activities


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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!