1. Discuss with your students about the characteristics of a team. Have a team building vocabulary word of the day or week, such as responsibility, cooperation, dependability, loyalty, etc. Build lessons and activities around your terms.
2. Divide your class into small groups or teams. Assign specific duties to each member. Have the group come up with a team name, symbol, logo, mascot, etc.
3. Integrate team building activities into your curriculum;
a. Work on a Math problem as a team, graph, or write and solve a story problem.
b. Write a story about their team, names, and characteristics and how they chose their name. Design a poster with the team name, and a self portrait of each member.
c. Read a story as a team using buddy reading, and then present the story in play form to the rest of the class.
d. Design and decorate a classroom bulletin board based on an academic or seasonal theme.
e. Work as a group on a Science or Social Studies project. Each member would be responsible for different segments of research and presentation.
4. For the first week or so of school, have a "question of the day" which would be a daily question that students would answer about themselves. Team students up with different partners and have interview one another. For young children, their responses to questions could be used to write a class experiential story, or display responses as part of a class "Bio Board", or an "Introducing Us" bulletin board.
14 Ways to Build Self Esteem In Kids
1. Respond to each child individually-call him by name
2. Take time to talk with the child about what's important to him/her
3. Use positive guidance and suggestions whenever possible. Reinforce the behavior you like.
4. Keep your expectations consistent with the child's stage of development and ability--be realistic
5. Give a child an opportunity to make choices and take responsibilities that fit his stage of development.
6. Provide opportunities for the child to succeed--challenge him/her when the chances of success are good.
7. Give a child quality time--it's more important than quantity
8. Compare a child's skills against his previous accomplishments--avoid comparing him to other children, especially brothers, sisters, and fellow classmates.
9. Avoid shaming or labeling a child.
10. Be a good model--children learn through watching adults.
11. React to the behavior instead of the personality. ("I don't want the classroom cluttered with materials" instead of "You're a messy, bad boy.")
12. Give a child your recognition for his accomplishments
13. Accept the child's feelings--negative and positive--without judging him
14. Be your students mentor and cheerleader!
Happy Sack -- Take an ordinary brown paper lunch sack and decorate it with smiley faces. Each day when someone sees an act of kindness or notices another classmate being nice, have them write it down on a slip of paper. Put the note into the "Happy Sack". On Friday, go through the Happy Sack and read all of the wonderful things going on in the classroom.
Take it to the Bank -- This is similar to the Happy Sack idea, except that it uses the concepts of making deposits in the bank. Have colored strips of paper available around the room. When students catch each other doing good deeds, have them record what happened on a strip of paper and place it in the "Depository". You could use a decorated shoe-box, large envelope, or any type of container. I actually attached my depository to the wall so that I could have one for each class. Then, on Friday, I spent some time reading through the deposit slips. We recorded each deposit into our class "register" to keep track of our good deeds. If you want, you could also have students record hurtful acts as "withdrawals" and then keep a balance between the withdrawals of the week and the deposits of the week. Use Friday as a time to discuss the issues that may be occurring in the classroom and work through any on-going problems in the classroom. It would be best, if doing this, to start with withdrawals and end with deposits.
Thank You! - On the computer, work up easy "Thank you" notes for students to fill out. There should be between six and eight on a page. Copy the master sheet on colorful paper and cut into squares. There should be one thank you note on each square. Have these available around the room. As a student sees or feels an act of kindness, have them fill out a thank you note to that person. Have students either give the note directly to the person, or place it on their desk. It is amazing what little notes like this from fellow classmates can do to encourage positive community building.