A teacher needs to build strong relationships within the classroom. Building teamwork skills and trust can create a healthy learning environment for all students. Team-building exercises are so important and should be incorporated into your teaching throughout the year to help students grow in confidence and get to know each other.
There are some fun and easy team-building activities for students that you can utilise in your classroom; using an interactive whiteboard enhances these, making them more accessible to all students, regardless of age or stage. For ideas and inspiration on using interactive whiteboards in your lessons, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
1. Escape the Classroom
You could challenge your students to ‘escape the classroom’. Escape rooms are really popular at the moment and, used as team-building tasks in the classroom, they provide an opportunity for students to work collaboratively using their communication skills.
There are some great digital breakout games that you can theme around your lessons, or you could make your own. First, decide what problem-solving skills you want the students to learn. Build a storyline around the theme of the lesson.
What is the problem? For example, someone is missing or lost. Next, think about the kind of information or clues you want the students to be given. This could include evidence or eyewitnesses. Consider the challenges you want the students to work on.
This is where you can link to your lesson. For example, are the problems maths-based or scientific investigations? Finally, how do the students complete the tasks and escape the classroom? Is there a time limit? What do they get as a reward?
You can include word searches, matching pairs, spot the difference and jigsaw puzzles. These games will encourage students to use their problem-solving skills, and these games are good for promoting communication.
You can add a reward word for when the activity is complete. This could be a code or clue for the next section and could hint at something they need to find in the classroom or outside to move on. You can create a quiz or worksheet that the students can only access if they have discovered the reward word.
Throw up a map on your interactive display, add a countdown clock, use quizzes and specialised apps to bring other educational technology into play. The options are endless.
2. Team-Building Trivia
Team-building games can create healthy competition in a fun environment. They provide students with the opportunity to work together to achieve a common goal. There are all sorts of excellent quiz apps for interactive whiteboards. One of the best trivia programs online is Kahoot. It has lots of trivia challenges, and it is free to use.
Once you have set up an account, you can click on the ‘discover’ icon and choose from different topics depending on what you want to quiz your students about. They can play one at a time, or you could divide students into teams.
They will receive a link on their laptop or iPad and can begin playing by working their way through the quiz. You can also use your smart board. Kahoot! offers great team-building games where students learn at the same time! And that’s just one example of a trivia quiz you can use.
3. Human Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be a great way for students to work together and find out about each other. There are many ways in which a hunt can be used in the classroom. A human scavenger hunt enables students to find friends with the same or similar qualities so they can find common ground and build their confidence.
For example, students could make a list of all the things they like, their favourite food, favourite style of music, where they live, favourite colour. They could then be challenged to go around the classroom and find other students who like those things.
They can then tick things off as they go, or students write their names next to the question. You could make it a little trickier by telling students they can only use each name once. This is one of the best class team-building activities at the start of a new year when everyone might not know one another yet.
Other kinds of scavenger hunts include using them to help students understand features in a text. There are many free scavenger hunt templates online to help.
This is a great team-building activity and a fun game for students to play in the classroom. First, divide students into two teams. Put a rubbish bin or ‘trash can’ at the front of the class perhaps, under the whiteboard. Give each team a buzzer or coloured stick, something with which they can indicate that they know the correct answer to the question.
One team member from each team will be asked a question. The first to hold up their stick or press the buzzer to show that they know the answer gets a chance to have a go.
They must write their answer on a piece of paper and show the teacher. If the answer is correct, they get a point. They then have the opportunity to screw up the piece of paper and throw it into the rubbish bin. If they get it in, their team gets an extra point!
The students build their confidence standing in front of a class and having a go, and it is nice to remind students to encourage their teammates. This is one of the fun team-building activities where students feel safe to have a go because they are backed by their peers.
5. Hot Seat
Another great team-building activity is Hot Seat. Form groups with the students, then have each team sit on either side of the classroom. The first team chooses a player, who then stands in front of the whiteboard with their back to it, facing their teammates.
Prepare a list of vocabulary you want the students to focus on for the lesson. The first student will stand there whilst you put up one of the keywords on the interactive display, which you can control from your own device. They are unable to see it. It is up to their teammates to try and help them figure out what the words are.
They could use synonyms, definitions, antonyms and other clues. Each team gets a point if the person works out the word; it is a different word for each person to guess. The two groups take it in turns to have a go until everyone has attempted a guess.
Add up the scores to see who won. You could put a time limit on it or give them a certain number of guesses so it doesn’t go on for too long!
You can even play this game with pictures, and students can be encouraged to use their describing words to help them guess, or the team could even act out the word or picture. It is a great team game and helps students support each other and work together.
6. Create a Class Movie
A great way to get your students to bond and work together as a team is to have them make their own class movie. Websites such as Kizoa provide many templates for the students to use that are easily customisable. They can include transitions, text and music.
Your class can work as a whole or be split into any group size you feel suits. Each group could have a specific job, for example, deciding on the plot, developing characters, writing a script or sourcing music. Groups may also work on separate projects and then share their movies.
Students can work on laptops to develop the movie and share their work with the teacher. The theme of the movies could be linked to your learning objectives or be decided by the students. Using the templates Kizoa has, students can embed pictures, videos and music and edit them to make their movies.
This is a creative activity that promotes team-building and collaboration. It’s also perhaps one of the most fun school team-building exercises your students will do!
Minefield is a great PowerPoint game that students can play in teams. The point of the game is to get from one side of the minefield to the other without hitting an explosion. The minefield is sectioned off into squares, and you can only move one square at a time.
Students could take turns choosing a square. If the square explodes, then you have to go back to the beginning. You need to work as a team to remember which squares exploded to avoid them as you attempt to cross again.
This game can be played on your interactive whiteboard and is suitable for any age group as it is so simple.
8. Bob the Builder
Bob the Builder is another great team-building exercise. Students can be split into teams of three or four and spread out so there is an even space between them all. The students stand apart from each other and, one at a time, will have a go at building a pyramid using paper cups. You can give each team up to ten cups, depending on the age group or ability.
Once the first person has built their pyramid, they must then balance it and carry it to the next member of their team. If they drop it, they must go back and start again. Once they get to the next person, they must dismantle their pyramid and pass their teammate the cups.
This person must then do the same and carry their pyramid to the next student on their team and so on. Each player must have built a tower and transported it successfully to the next person until the last person takes their pyramid to the teacher and places it on their desk. The first group to do this wins!
Enhance Your Classroom Team-Building Activities with Interactive Displays
Using interactive displays on your whiteboard has been proven to enhance students’ engagement and therefore improve concentration and learning potential. It’s also been shown that students are more likely to engage in team-building activities if there is an interactive element.
Interactive displays are an excellent way to enable fun team building activities and take them to the next level. Not only that, but they can help you cater for different learning styles and neurodiverse students.
Our displays open up a whole new way of teaching and can enhance your students’ understanding. Not only that, but they can simply make lessons more fun. For inspiration or advice on the ultimate interactive displays, get in touch today! You can request a free demo or speak to a Promethean expert.