Team Building in the ELA Classroom

You know what they say: Two heads are better than one. Add even more heads… well, then you’ve got yourself a team! And a classroom made up of team players is a synergistic environment ideal for learning.

Encouraging teamwork among your students is important for myriad reasons. 

--- It is, of course, excellent practice for the working world; most professions require some form of collaboration. 
--- Having your students collaborate with others helps to firm up peer relationships and social skills. 
--- It can improve their speaking and listening abilities, problem-solving strategies and creative thinking. 
--- Teamwork also requires students to develop patience and tolerance for others – also good preparation for the “real world.”

Furthermore, middle school teachers, if you switch up your teams to include new pairings, you can shake up cliques and possibly stop a quarrel brewing beneath the surface. Or you might just foster new friendships.

So, it's clear that teaching students how to work together matters, but what's the easiest way to infuse team building activities into the classroom (without losing critical instructional time)?  Well, I had the very same question.  That's why I teamed up with fellow teachers and posed exactly that question. In response, I created a FREE lesson plan that encourages teamwork as students piece together a fable about the power of teams.  

Then, after a lesson on figurative language, students work together again to make a collaborative team banner that illustrates the essentials of team work.  The lesson takes one class period and reviews fables, reading comprehension, and figurative language!

Remember those teachers that I teamed up with?  Well, they also made FREE resources to help students learn how to work together in each of their classes.  So, students can practice teamwork in ELA, Science, Math, and Social Studies.  The coolest part?  We even worked to create an integrated culminating activity that encourages a culture of teamwork in every class.  You can find links to the integrated team building activities here.

So much good comes from teaching our students HOW to work together.  I hope that once you try the ELA lesson or all the integrated team building lessons, that you'll see an improvement in your classroom culture.

Go team!

Mary Beth

Valentine's Day Giveaway

Please say yes!  If you do, you can enter to win a fun Valentine's Day care package (that I'll actually mail to you)!

Here's the thing, I adore Valentine's Day!  Every year the holiday makes me pause and think about all the people that I love.  Did you know that you're on my list of loved ones?  Of course you are!  I absolutely love and appreciate the teachers that read this blog and stop by my shop on TpT.  I'm super inspired by you...and I'd be honored if you would be my Valentine!  Since I like to spoil my loved ones, I'm sending my Brain Waves Instruction Valentine a care package filled with treats.  All you have to do to win the Valentine's Day care package is agree to be my Valentine and fill out a quick entry form.  

But first...don't you want to see what's inside the care package?

The care package is filled with Valentine's Day inspired treats that I picked up at HomeGoods (you know I'm obsessed) and Target.  You can stick the items on your desk at school, add them to a bookshelf at home, or toss them in your bag.

In the care package, you'll find a pencil holder, erasers, pencils, happy paper and the cutest sticky notes I have ever seen!

And this dish...wouldn't it be so cute on your bathroom vanity?  You could stick your jewelry in it. Or how about placing it on your desk for paperclips?

What's Valentine's Day without sweet treats, right?  So, I'll be sending you some candies and fun dishes and containers that you can re-purpose, too.

How could I pass up adding this pretty polka-dotted box to your care package?  And the note cards...perfect to stick in your desk drawer to write notes to colleagues or students.

I'm sending along some paper straws, too.  I'm actually not quite sure what one does with paper straws, but they were too adorable to resist!

I'm going to be sending along two Brain Waves Instruction resources in your care package as well.  I mean, teachers love great gifts, but turn-key lesson plans and units, now that's something to get super excited about!  So, as part of your prize I'll send you this set of Valentine's Day Creative Writing activities and one of my newest resources, Spring Poetry Analysis Flip Books.

I really tried to pack the care package with a tone of sweet treats for you and your classroom!  If you'd like to enter for a chance to win, just click HERE.  I'll be accepting entries until midnight on February 10, 2016.  Then, I'll email the winner and we'll coordinate shipping instructions.  Hopefully it will all be in the winner's hands by Valentine's Day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mary Beth

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