Back in the classroom after a break or a long weekend, you may feel somewhat reminiscent of the first day of school. Although you know those bright, shiny faces pretty well now, you may notice there’s a sense of disconnection from one another. Reinforcing Harmony practices will serve to remind students of the welcoming and inclusive classroom that you’ve all been working so hard to create. Here are our quick team-building tips to implement now, or any time the kids are in need of a good refresher.
Have a Meet Up session early in the day as a way to check in with everyone. Allow students to share a favorite story or memory and ask questions about their time spent over the break. If students are feeling particularly shy, you can kick it off by sharing a story of your own. Afterwards, you can give students some quiet time to draw a picture and recap their stories in writing with their buddies.
Start by reintroducing the Buddy Up grid you created, and remind students of whom their buddies will be for the week. Have them get together with their buddies and carry out a Quick Collaboration to get acquainted. Here’s a fun one:
- Sketch It Out- Students describe a special place (e.g., bedroom, park) for their buddies to sketch on a piece of paper, only based on their verbal descriptions. No peeking until the end!
Talk it Out
Pull out your Quick Conversation Cards and create a fun game to play as a whole group. Put a handful of cards into a bag and go around the room and have each student grab a card out of the bag and ask a thought-provoking question to the student sitting next to him or her.
There’s nothing that gets a group reconnected more than giving them the opportunity to move around and interact with each other. Check out the Harmony Quick Community Builders for inspiration. Here are two favorites:
- Category Call Out- Someone announces a category (e.g., favorite color), and everyone forms groups as fast as possible based on their answers (e.g., all the greens in one group, all the pinks in one group, etc.).
- Question Toss- Everyone writes a general question (e.g., what is your favorite movie?) on a piece of paper, signs his or her name, and crumples it into a ball. Then, students form a circle and toss the questions into the center. Next, everyone chooses a question, finds the person who wrote it, and answers it.
Encourage students to interact with one another, so they quickly become reacquainted and enthusiastic to learn and participate. Devote your first day back from a break to rebuilding relationships that may have been forgotten after spending time apart.