My school year officially starts with students this Thursday and I have to admit I have done the same team building for the past 12 years. Actually I am guilty of starting it because I used to do it when I taught in MO and brought the idea to my school. But I am bored with it, and I know that so I started thinking about how to start my school year differently. If I have learned anything about my teaching if I am bored then I teach a boring lesson which isn't great for anyone.
Light bulb moment -building bridges.
As I thought about the idea of building bridges and connecting it to TEAMWORK, I automatically thought of marshmallows and toothpicks and having the students work in cooperative groups and build a bridge. I then went to Wonderopolis and found Wonder #236 How Long is the Longest Bridge? which is a perfect introduction to Wonderopolis. After that I googled bridges and found numerous links that I think will be beneficial as well as interactive. Finally I tweeted out to my friends about bridges and my friend Tony sent me this amazing link from TED entitled "Build a Tower, Build a Team."Although I am not starting with these materials, I definitely will come back to this idea.
Then my word study mind kicked in, and I started thinking about the multiple meanings of "building bridges."
*connecting 4th grade to 5th grade
*connecting home learning and school learning (Wonderopolis is PERFECT for this)
*connecting teamwork with the different skills it takes to build their bridge (we will create a class chart)
*discussion of the design process which connects with science
*conversations about how the key to our success this year is TEAMWORK!