16 Activities to STOP THE HITTING and Build Classroom Community
A couple years ago, my students had a habit of hitting, scratching, or hurting one another whenever they got upset or too silly.
I was SO frustrated, worn out, and at a total loss, because I felt like I had done everything and yet, nothing was helping.
- I had talked to my students one-on-one about their behavior. And for some students, I did this DAILY.
- I had revoked privileges and given logical consequences.
- I had modeled what positive and acceptable touches look like by having my students role play.
- I had my students practice dozens of calming strategies in the “Take 5 Corner” of our classroom.
- I had written emails, called parents, and even resorted to sending my students to other classrooms.
Maybe you’ve been here too, you’re exasperated, and quite frankly – just done.
Then I remembered something.
My friend is an ELEMENTARY EDUCATION PROFESSOR from college. Her name is Dr. Wendy Guthrie.
After I vented about being exasperated, Dr. Guthrie shared an idea with me:
Students who have relationships with one another are less inclined to harm one another.
She then proceeded to give me the idea of incorporating 10 minute segments of team building exercises where students had the opportunity to give one another positive touches.
In other words, help them develop relationships with one another, rather than creating an “always keep your hands to yourself,” classroom mentality.
She also recommended that I try this out first thing in the morning before the school day picked up.
So! I began using team building exercises with my students daily.
Every morning after unpacking, doing morning work, taking attendance, and listening to school announcements, we would have our team building time for 10 minutes. Once we did them, I felt positive vibes in the air for the remainder of the school day!
Click Here to get the 16 Team Building Activities, their directions, and a SPINNER!
DISCLAIMER: Did these exercises create the PERFECT classroom community???
Nope, because that kind of perfection won’t happen until the Second Coming!
DID these exercises MINIMIZE my students from hurting one another significantly???
I saw my students learn how to love one another better because of their close interactions and relationships they had begun to build with one another through these team building exercises.
The improved behavior made my job, and my day, much easier to manage.