We have a new theme in the room this year–WILD about learning. I will add pics to show it later on, but just picture lots of animal print. Believe me–it’s FABULOUS!
So one thing that I always do at the beginning of the year is create a set of groups that we use all year for a variety of activities. These groups don’t change, unlike many others in our class. I always have a name for the groups, which is usually based on our theme. They originally started back when I taught 4th grade and needed to have groups to vote on laws that we made for our class state. They were legislatures, in effect. Back then they were called Districts, and then last year (during a construction theme) they were Zones.
As I thought about this year, I latched on to the “wild” part of our theme, and that lead me to thinking about tribes. That tribe idea lead me to Survivor. You know, the show on CBS?
Originally I was just going to use the idea so that I had something clever to call our groups, but then I realized that there was actually more of a connection to that show than I had realized. We made a link to the purpose of the tribe on Survivor–to help each member of the group “make it,” to focus on the strengths that each member brings to the situation, and to work together to solve problems. Then I remembered how on the show, each tribe gives themselves a name–a name that tells something about the group as a whole.
So a new tradition was born. One of our first activities together was to create tribe names and explain what that name meant about the group.
May I introduce to you, the 5 tribes of Rm. 202:
I’m going to save the explanations for another time, but I wonder: do you think you can figure out what they may mean? And if your kiddo is in one of those tribes, can you figure out which one? Teachers: do you have groups like these in your classroom? Tell us about them!
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That’s such a cool concept calling them tribes and then explaining how a tribe works! That probably really helps them understand the dynamics of working in a group! 🙂
Thanks, Shannon! It was honestly one of those “whim” things that happened in the moment and just made sense. And yes, it seems to be working. 🙂
How do decide on the members of the tribes? Do you pick them randomly?
I just go down the roll and spread them out evenly, so I guess it’s random. Unlike other groups where I put hem together because of something that is similar, this one often has kiddos who have never worked together before. I like how it pushes them out of their comfort zones and they have to figure out how to work with new people. It’s a life skill, you know. 🙂 And so far this year, our tribes are “gelling” beautifully! Are you going to try it?
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