So one of the things I decided over break to focus on when we returned was classroom community. I believe in doing a lot of group activities, however, since my kiddos don't really enter the classroom with "groupwork" skills-it's something I feel like we have to practice. Our first activity was a cup stacking activity. I gave each group 25 cups and asked them to make the tallest structure they could. There were no other rules. I suggested they talk to each other first and decide what the group plan was and then begin building.
It was so interesting to walk around and watch them make their structures. I honestly started thinking about my experience as an adult working in groups of teachers and who each reminded me of.
One group was done in like 30 seconds. No discussion or anything-they just wanted to win and began building right away.
This group did not ever get together as a group.
The kids just kept working on their own individual towers.
This group looked to see what the group who was done did
and tried it themselves-however, theirs kept falling down.
And this was my winning group. They definitely thought outside the box-didn't pay attention to what others were doing, just worked to figure out a way for it to stand up without falling down.
Just for kicks when we were done and reflected on what worked and what didn't, we tried again to make the smallest tower using all the cups and the cups had to be touching each other.
The kids liked the activity-they actually wanted to do it again yesterday and I plan to continue doing things like this in addition to their regular group work to help them practice those skills.