Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We LOVE Teambuilding!

The first couple of days are always great, because as we're slowly getting into the routine of school and content, we get to play some fun team and class building games to get to know each other even better.   This year we started the year off with introducing one of my favorite team building games: TAPEBALL.  I "borrowed" this amazing game from my own 10th grade English teacher, and now I'm passing it along to my students.

 Here's how you play:
  • Get several pieces of paper (the thicker the better) and wad it up.  Then take masking (or my favorite blue painters' tape) and "tape" the ball until all of the paper is covered.  Your tapeball should be about the size of a softball or bigger.

  • Have the kids sit in a circle in their chairs...there shouldn't be any "holes" in the chair circle.
  • Explain the rules:
    • You have to remain in your chair...seated...at all times.
    • You can only hit the ball once, then someone else has to hit it (no juggling)
    • You can't "rally" the tapeball between 2 people; diversify the tapeball movement throughout the circle (try and get everyone involved!)
    • The tapeball should be hit in a "lifting" manner (meaning no volleyball spikes or swats!)
    • No catching.  No throwing.  All hitting (use either one hand or both hands held together).
  • The goal of this game is to get as deep into the alphabet (or highest number, whatever you prefer) as possible.  Each hit equals a letter.  If you get to Z you just start back over at A (and make note that group got through the alphabet and back around a second/third/fourth/etc... time).
We really enjoyed starting the year off playing this game.  We even have a scoreboard in our room so we can keep track throughout the year the scores from the various classes when we have time to play this game.  And that's the great part about this game--it can be a quick game or a lengthy one!  You can even use it as a review, so instead of letters or numbers use vocabulary words or concepts from the unit you're doing.

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