Kindergarten & 1st Grade
We started developing teamwork skills by putting tennis balls in cups. Sounds easy but was tricky. Kids worked in pairs. They had to collect a ball, or a number of balls and deliver them to a bowl in the back of the class. They also weren't allowed to touch the tennis balls. They were each provided a single dowel rod per student. They were not allowed to touch the ball with anything but their own stick. The pairs then had to figure out a way to work together to move the balls.
2nd & 3rd Grade
These grades also worked on teamwork skills by moving tennis balls. After mastering the initial challenge they had to figure out how to move the tennis balls without touching them and with out walking. They used a lot of inventive thinking.
4th & 5th Grades
These classes worked on their communications skills by doing the Bee Dance activity. They had to work out a plan to give directions non-verbally so their team mates could find something they hid.
After that they worked on teamwork skills by building cup towers. Both grades were not allowed to touch the cups. 4th grade was provided rubber bands and string to manipulate the cups. 5th grade was provided dowel rods to manipulate the cups.
Finally they had a similar challenge to kindergarten through 3rd. Instead of tennis balls they had to transport 10 marbles without touching them. They had cardboard tubes and were not allowed to walk while holding the tubes. Some teams pored the marbles between tubes. Some used the tubes to make holders that they passed. There was a lot of inventive thinking.
STEAM is off to a great start for the 2018-2019 school year. All classes began with designing name tags for their class and then making them. I have found them very helpful. Ms. Durling's class was very helpful in helping figure out class procedures for how to pass out and recollect the name tags.
All classes then moved on to team building activities to help them learn how to work together in groups.
Kindergarten & 1st Grade
Kindergarten and 1st Grade started by playing a game called Don't Wake the Dragon. The objective was simple. Scare away the dragon by lining up around it in order from tallest to shortest then everyone say "Boo!" at the same time. Of course they had to get in line without waking the dragon until they were ready to say boo, and the dragon has very good ears. The classes started learning how to share and discuss ideas as they tried to figure out, first, how to get everyone to the circle without waking the dragon, then getting in the right order, quietly, then finally getting everyone to say boo in unison. Different classes tried different things like picking one person to dismiss tables or individuals in order to limit the noise. They discussed ways of walking quietly. They tried different ways of getting in the right order. Some classes tried letting one classmate place them. Other classes decided to make a practice line to know where to stand. One class decided to make their line at the back, get in order their then walk to the circle in the right order. Finally they tried to figure out how to say boo all at the same time. They all thought it would be easier than it turned out to be. They had fun trying and worked on persistence as they had to try several times.
2nd Grade started with Hula Hoop Pass. The class had to work together to pass a hula hoop around the whole circle. The rules were the students had to all hold hands as they pass the hoop from one person to the next. They had to figure out how to get through the hoop without using their hands, that are being held by their partners, and pass it on. To complicate things and to make them think about solving the challenge they were not aloud to talk while they held the hoop so and ideas or directions they wanted to give each other they had to put down the hoop first. They practices with small teams, then tried larger teams until they did the whole class. I timed the attempts so they could try to improve by beating their times.
3rd Grade investigated the importance of clear communication with a game called The Bee Dance. Everyone made a small item they could hide under a tray. Teams of 3 to 4 then worked together. One person would hide what they made under a tray in the circle. Then, like a bee, they had to give their teammates directions how to find them. One person at a time got to look and they only get to look under one tray. The catch was they could not use spoken or written communication. Each team had to figure out a code to use to give their directions.
4th & 5th Grades
4th & 5th used Helium Hula Hoop to practice working together. Teams of 4 held a hula hoop on their index fingers at shoulder height and while only touching the hoop with two index fingers lower the hoop to ankle level. Additionally teams were not allowed to talk to coordinate while they lowered their hoop, so they had to work out other ways to time their actions. Each team member had to keep contact with the hoop with both fingers under it. To make it an additional challenge the teams also did the same activity using a plastic pipe that had 3 marbles in it. They had to accomplish the same shoulder to ankle lowering without dropping the marbles. Teams tried different techniques. Some put their foot on a stool to raise the ankle height. Some knelt on the floor to lower their start height. Many used head nods or foot taps to coordinate their work.