Last week, the entire Elementary School went on an excursion to the countryside to play team building and cooperation games. It is important as our mission statement says, that students learn “the ability to work in a team, collaborate and to communicate effectively”. These tools are vital for the future and students need to start to acquire these skills at a young age.
The different classes were divided into four “houses” which were comprised of students from grades 1-5. Points were earned only when the entire team was able to successfully solve the task. All teams therefore had the opportunity to be first. The students therefore did not compete against other teams but rather against themselves. The problems required thinking skills before acting. They required good communication, listening and of course teamwork. As expected, the 4th and 5th grade students took a leadership role to help the younger members of their team.
The games included ones with water, orienteering, climbing, with ropes, balls and hula hoops for example. Each one was designed for a different ability. One game emphasized communication while another reinforced collaboration. Another important lesson learned is that if the students cannot solve a task as a group it is acceptable to fail as long as they are able to learn from their mistakes.
Each house came dressed in their team color to show team spirit. This year there are the four houses:
House 1 American Eagles = Red
House 2 The Invaders = Purple
House 3 The Warriors = Blue
House 4 Fireballs = Gold
Furthermore, every month until the end of the year, there are other activities where the houses will participate together in events such as a quiz bowl. At the end of the year the House Trophy will be awarded to the winning house or houses.