Building Strong Foundations in Middle School

Building Strong Foundations in Middle School: A Fun-Filled First Week of Teamwork and Collaboration

lascuolablog IB Programme, Teaching and Learning

Building strong foundations in Middle School starts with engaging activities to promote teamwork, collaboration and communication.

The first week of the new academic year at La Scuola International School has been an exciting start for my International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB-MYP) Year 1 and 3 students. As their math and science teacher, I am delighted to share the engaging activities we undertook to promote teamwork, collaboration, communication, and understanding of expectations. The highlight of the week was a thrilling game called “The Solo Cup Challenge”, “Cup pyramid “and “Stack Up the Cups” where students had a blast while actively learning important skills.

Building Strong Foundations in Middle School

Icebreaker and Teamwork Activity

To break the ice and foster a sense of camaraderie, we kicked off the week with an interactive icebreaker activity. The students were divided into small teams and given the challenge of stacking cups to create a pyramid using only rubber bands and threads. The catch was that they couldn’t use their body parts to hold the cups. This task required them to work together, strategize, and communicate effectively to achieve the goal. The energy and enthusiasm were infectious as they collaborated, shared ideas, and cheered each other on.

Collaboration and Communication

The “Cup pyramid” & “Stack Up the Cups” activity proved to be an excellent platform for promoting collaboration and communication. Students quickly realized that success depended on their ability to listen to each other, contribute their unique ideas, and work as a team. They brainstormed innovative solutions, adjusted their strategies, and celebrated their achievements together. The activity not only strengthened their bonds but also enhanced their problem-solving skills and resilience.

Understanding Expectations

While the primary focus was on teamwork and collaboration, we also took the opportunity to discuss and establish expectations for the academic year. During the cup stacking activity, we paused to reflect on the importance of respecting each other, valuing diverse perspectives, and maintaining a positive learning environment. The students actively participated in shaping the classroom norms, ensuring everyone felt heard and understood. This exercise empowered them to take ownership of their learning journey.

Fun and Learning

These activities not only served as a means to promote teamwork and collaboration but also injected an element of fun into the classroom. The students thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, with laughter and excitement filling the room. This combination of enjoyment and learning helped create a positive atmosphere, setting the tone for the rest of the academic year.

The first week of activities with my IB-MYP Year 1 and 3 students at La Scuola International School was a resounding success. Through the engaging “Stack Up the Cups” activity, we were able to cultivate teamwork, collaboration, communication, and a clear understanding of expectations. The students had a fantastic time while acquiring valuable skills that will serve them well throughout the academic year and beyond. I am thrilled to continue guiding and supporting their growth as we embark on an exciting learning journey together.

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Written by:  

Neelam Khanduri, IB-MYP Math and Science Department Head

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