Monday, March 24, 2014

There's no "i" in "team," but there are an "m" and an "e"

First, an exciting announcement:

I've been accepted into the Master's of Education program at UNC Chapel Hill!

It's focused on classrooms that include children with disabilities or are in low-income families. I can't wait to share everything I'm learning with you!  Of course this also means my posts might become more sporadic starting in May and they might be shorter, but they will still be uplifting. Make sure you follow me so you're in the loop! Email signups are at the bottom of the page.

We've been talking a lot about teamwork lately in our classroom, but it can be hard to know where to start.  I've had a lot of help from the IY Dina program , where the class spent two days focusing on how to work in teams. First, they worked together to build according to a model, and then something more freeform the next day.  In between days, we encourage teamwork in the centers.

Most of the kids show teamwork in one way or another; they've had almost a year to make friends and learn how to play with each other.  Of course, there are always some that need a little bit of help.  It's amazing to see the other students step up in this area.  I've noticed several times where a child has had trouble and another child was already helping them when I walked over. It can be easy to guide children who are fighting over toys to work together on it instead; when they do, they learn problem-solving skills and the good feeling that working together brings.

This week, I'm planning lots more teamwork activities. As we continue our study about rainbows and rain from last week, students will be pairing up to go on a color scavenger hunt and encouraged to take roles in small groups. This should be an exciting week and I can't wait to share it with you!

How do you foster teamwork in your classroom?


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