Back to School!

The 2017-2018 school year is almost here!! For some of us, it’s already underway. Time sure does fly!

Elections are one of the most important parts of any council. Be sure to encourage students to run, and get out of their comfort zone! Get a head-start on homecoming by brainstorming themes and events with your council. You can find awesome ideas at https://www.pinterest.com/explore/homecoming-themes-ideas/ .

Some other ideas to ramp up school spirit include a student section/pep club at games, pep busses for away games, and even a beginning of the year Rowdy-O or Pep Assembly. Here’s to a fun and productive year!

What are your ideas? Please share!

One thought on “Back to School!

  1. Team Building is important to getting your Student Council off to a great start. It is good to do periodically throughout the year to keep the team working together!

    TEAM BUILDING
    Mary Hahn – New Mexico Association of Student Councils, SED
    team build·ing NOUN 1. the action or process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.

    Begin with WHY! The first step of team building is to establish the purpose – as it aligns with the vision and mission of/or within the organization. This can be accomplished with a simple statement, and a short focus list of activities or actions.
    Step 2. A facilitator will keep the team moving efficiently.
    Step 3. Processing each activity reinforces purpose, and importance of team communication.

    Leadership styles play a huge role in the success of the productivity of team building activities. There are 4 basic leadership styles: Thinker, Director, Socializer and Relater*. (*A’ric Jackson – aricspeaks.com) A team succeeds with a mix of these leadership styles, as they each play an important role. (You may be familiar with similar roles as fruits – pears, apples, lemons, plums; or colors – gold, blue, orange and green). (But that’s a different lesson!)

    4 Elements of Team Building:
    1. Ice Breakers – comfort and camaraderie
    2. Listening Skills activities
    3. Problem Solving activities
    4. Processing – What; So What; Now What
    What: discuss what just happened
    So What: participants discuss what they observed and learned during the activity
    Now What: how to utilize what was observed and experienced from the activity

    Ice Breakers:
    1. Line Up: At a fast pace, have the team line up by height: quick switch line up by hair length longest to shortest; quick switch line up by eye color lightest to darkest … etc.
    2. Thumb Ball:
    Using a purchased Thumb Ball http://www.thumball.com OR
    Make Your Own: purchase a large, inflatable beach ball, or a medium size soft soccer style ball. With a permanent marker, write as many statements as you can fit on the ball. The statements should be designed to make people laugh and get to know one another; they may be both humorous and ask simple truths about a person. Examples include: favorite jelly bean flavor, awesome amusement park ride, favorite breakfast, etc – add a “your choice”!
    Activity: Participants will toss the ball to one another. The person who catches it states their first name and answers the statement that their left thumb is touching. Everyone gets a turn!
    (It is not necessary to ask processing questions after ice breakers.)

    Listening Activity: Name It (Jill Esplin – Back Pocket Leadership)
    Time: 5 minutes + processing
    Activity: In a group of three, participants roam around the room pointing at different objects, calling out a name for each object they point at other than the name it actually is. Example – a participant points at a desk and states “a snowball!” It is best played at a rapid pace and each person in the trio speaks at the same time.
    Processing:
    • What was it like when your brain wanted to say one thing but you had to say something else?
    • What was it like hearing everyone else talking at the same time? Did it help or distract?
    • In life, do you ever want to say something, but then say something else or not share your thoughts? Why?

    Team Building Activity: Turn the Mat
    You will need: a large piece (how large depends on the size of your team) of fabric, blanket, piece of butcher paper. On one side draw an X or write a short inspiring word or phrase so you can tell when the team turned the “mat” over.
    Activity: 1. You will need a positive sound (hoot, hoot; Stu Co. etc) or gesture (snaps) the team will use as a team member makes a suggestion that turns the mat. Encouragement is always a good thing!
    2. In a cleared space, have the team stand on the mat.
    Task: Together as a team, they must turn the mat over with their feet without stepping off. If they touch the floor or another object outside the mat they must start over from the beginning.
    Solution: The mat can be turned by flipping over one corner with team members nudging it with their feet little by little in the turn over process. It is important that all team members are involved in turning the mat over.
    Suggestions: (don’t give these hints too soon)
    1. Suggest that by standing on one foot the team can get closer together, with less on the mat allowing more room to move the mat.
    2. The team can make a positive sound to team members who make suggestions that are progressive in turning the mat.
    3. The task works easiest if the remainder of the mat is kept flat and taught on the floor as the beginning corner moves along.
    Processing:
    • What was the goal of this activity?
    • What did you observe or learn about working with a team?
    • How can working as a team meet goals successfully?

    Team building is not just a bunch of fun activities that Stu Co kiddos engage in. Team building is a valued life skill to build and improve morale in the classroom, in groups/organization, and in the workplace!
    There is no I in TEAM . . . however it takes a variety of Individuals together to BUILD a great TEAM!

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