Wednesday Missions- Weekly Team Building Activities

Have I mentioned how much I love teaching 5th grade? I truly have found my place and I couldn't be happier. It does help that I really have an amazing group of students! 

One thing I think has really helped my class have the perfect little community where students have great conversations, work together, everyone gets along, all students participate without fear of feeling like they're not smart, are my Wednesday Missions. 

Every Wednesday I take time out of my day to do some kind of team building activity. Some activities take an hour while some might be 30 minutes. My students seriously look forward to these. If for some reason we don't get to one, they are so unhappy! 

We have done all sorts of missions such as Marshmallow Challenge, Candy Corn Tower, School Supply Shuffle, Gum Drop Challenge, STEM-Quake Safe and a story writing challenge. Some were very hard, while some seemed too easy. But the outcome has always been the same-focus on collaboration, creativity, discovering and sharing.

One of the hardest, yet fun challenges I did was a Shelter Challenge.

We have been reading Hatchet, this was the perfect challenge. I found the idea for this challenge HERE

We first had a discussion about how Brian built his shelter. We also watched a video of how to build a shelter. 

Students in their table teams got an iTouch for photographs, a stack of newspaper and 1 roll of tape. They had a set amount of time to discuss and plan how they were going to build their shelter.

Their mission was to build a free standing shelter out of newspaper and tape where their whole team had to fit inside. (I ended up changing it to have only 1 person fit inside). 

It's safe to say, they had a lot of fun!

In the end, only one team actually succeeded. After we cleaned up, they had one more task as a team to complete. 

I was so proud of my students for the way they worked together on this challenge. Their Google Slide reflections show me how much they learned about the book, teamwork, and showed their creativity. 

If you're looking for a way to encourage your students to work together and communicate more, I highly recommend taking time out of your week to bring in some team building activities. You can follow my Pinterest board for other team building activities I have found.

Crazy Sock Exchange

I can't believe it has been over 2 months since I have blogged last! Life really has been so busy that I have not had a second to sit down and blog!

As of 2016 I will be taking my blog into a new direction! My focus will be more on content and examples of what I am doing in my classroom. 

I have looked back at some of my old blog posts and all I did was prompt my TpT shop, linky parties and freebies. Don't get me wrong, you will see some of my new products I have had in the works, but this blog won't be that focus. 

To start off this new focus, I want to share something super fun my 5th graders did this year for Christmas!

For the past 6 years, I have always done a mug exchange with a Polar Express party. Since I'm teaching a new grade this year, I wanted to try something new. I bring you...the Crazy Sock Exchange!

Every student brought in a pair of crazy socks filled with goodies. Their max spending cost was $10, which included the cost of the sock.

The day of the exchange, the students grabbed their own sock and sat in a circle.

Next, I read a story I found on Pinterest. Every time they heard RIGHT, they would pass it to the right. Every time they heard LEFT, they would pass it to the left.

(don't mind my horrible voice)

You can get the story {HERE}

Once we were done, everyone was able to open the sock they ended up with! It was so much fun!

I had everyone put on their sock and we took a class picture!

I did have a few students who brought socks that were not holiday socks, some boys ended up with more girly socks, some girls got more boyish socks, and some socks didn't fit. But overall, I would totally do this again. Maybe a boy/girl circle instead.

To end our week, our Hawaiiana teacher came and helped my students sing The 12 Days of Christmas...Hawaiian Style!