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need middle school ice breakers/support building activities


From: FRANCIS REDFERN (nredfern_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 26 2002 - 07:41:47 PDT

   As I'm finishing up this school year (7th and 8th grade art) I'm
thinking ahead for next year. Generally, in most of my classes this year
we never developed a team feeling. There were several fights, lots of
ugly words exchanged and a general feeling of disinterest or animosity
towards other students. Of course there were many exceptions. Some
students even claimed not to know other students' names in class at the
end of the year, with class sizes of 12 - 18.

Can I actually facilitate a more friendly atmosphere? I know a lot of
the mistrust comes directly from the community atmosphere. I think one
of the difficulties is that we have approximately 200+ students in each
grade level and for each period of the day the students are having to
get used to a whole new group of students and personalities. I know it
must take a lot of time and thought for each student to size up the
groups and figure out how they fit in to the mix - who to allign with,
who to avoid etc.

Are there daily/regular activities that can be done to promote a better
classroom environment?
I need help.
Does anyone out there have ideas? Has anyone had success implementing
these kind of activities?