To build a positive classroom environment, teachers devoted the first week of school to team-building activities. In Mrs. Springs’s Oral Communications classes, students practiced multitasking skills through the Billy Wright’s Party activity. They had to listen to the instructions and move quickly at the same time along with others around them.
“The students were made aware of the necessity of actually listening, not just hearing, when it comes to enhancing communications,” Mrs. Springs said. “In addition, they gained an understanding that communication is a two-way street — if one will not, one cannot.”
Mess-ups happened in each Oral Comm class when at least one student fell behind on the instructions, slowing down the passing paper process.
“The whole class fell into fits of giggles and had a great time while gaining a new perspective on the communication process,” Mrs. Springs said.
The Oral Comm students understood the goal of Billy Wright’s Party.
“The activity improved the classroom environment by helping people understand each other and work as a team,” Jaida Whitfield, 9th, said. “We had to help everyone when they were confused.”
Even if they did not master the skills of listening and moving fast, Mrs. Springs’ students tried their best and had fun.
“I liked that we were able to talk to each other and communicate,” Andrea Garcia, 9th, said.
In Ms. Mullin’s Journalism classes, students practiced team work through Musical Chairs. As Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” played, five students moved around a set of four back-to-back chairs. When the music stopped, they vied for a spot to not get eliminated. Ms. Mullin then changed the rules to where only chairs, not people, got eliminated. This led students to have to think of how they were to all sit with one chair less each time.
“In round one, the students were all for themselves, but in round two, they learned that they had to work together so that everyone was successful,” Ms. Mullin said. “They realized that when they create The Raider Release, they must work as a team.”
The students had fun doing this activity while learning the concept.
“The groups were quite creative in figuring out how to fit all five people on one chair, and the 2nd-period had so much fun that they insisted on playing a second round,” Ms. Mullin said.
The students learned that you have to work together in order to get something done properly.
“What I gained is that teamwork is what makes us stronger and more helpful to each other,” Christy Acosta, 8th, said.
Edwin De La Cruz, 8th, agreed with Christy.
“I learned that by working in teams you could accomplish anything,” Edwin said.
While having fun, the Journalism students learned the importance of teamwork, thinking together, and sharing ideas.
“I learned things go smoother when you work together,” Rachel Cairel, 9th, said.
In Ms. Florez’s, Ms. Ferguson’s, and Mrs. Larkin’s 8th grade Language Arts classes, students practiced teamwork by assembling fifteen pieces of dry spaghetti noodles and four large marshmallow into a tall tower. If the structure fell, the group had to take it apart and rebuild it again.
“They learned how to work in teams and that communication and problem solving are the key components to working in groups,” Ms. Florez said. “They also learned that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and a good foundation is a way to start.”
The students reacted the way the teacher believed they would, even with a few obstacles such as running down to their last few pieces of materials to build with.
“The students found it interesting that the task wasn’t as easy to do as it seemed,” Ms. Florez said. “They had a fun time trying to build the tallest object and stuck with the task even when their structures fell over or they were running out of time.”
The eighth graders enjoyed the challenge.
“I liked how we made it as tall as we could,” Khadyn Washington, 8th, said.
Students realized how the activity helped them understand how teamwork works.
“We got along, we cooperated, and we got to know each other,” Deja Wesley, 8th, said.