The Bowmar Builders are an FLL team associated with Bowmar Elementary School. The purpose of this blog is to help other students interested in robotics to learn from what we have learned. As an FLL Robotics team we use the Lego EV3 robotics system and the Mindstorms graphical programming language.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Appreciation Game

By Aaron Byrd

I noticed that the students had a difficult time in the respect game. I realized that in large part this was because they were not attuned to recognizing situations to show respect. I adapted a couple of games/ice breaker activities to create a new game to help them get started with recognizing situation to show respect.

Phase 1

Phase one of the game is to get the kids together on a mat and get them working together. They sit in a circle and gently toss a small ball around to each other. The goal is to simply get them working together on a simple task. The goal for this part of the phase is to have them count how many times they can toss the ball around without dropping it. They will naturally try to improve their team score by working together better as a team. Let this proceed for 5-15 minutes.

During this phase you'll notice that the team goes through all of the team building stages. Sometimes people want to be outside of the rug/playing area, where they can be outside of the group (forming). Sometime people try to do different activities with the ball, like throw it up in the air to themselves or for anyone to get (storming.) Sometimes they'll throw or bat the ball to each other instead of toss the ball (norming.) Once the team has successfully started all gently tossing the ball to each other they'll start to get more and more catches and they will enjoy the activity and cheer each other on (performing.)

Phase 2

Now that the team has experienced the whole team building process in one short activity and has come together to successfully trust each other and perform as a team you can move on to phase 2. Phase 2 involves a different game but is played in a similar manner to the first. In this phase, when someone catches the ball they need to state something they appreciate about the person that just tossed the ball. They will find this very challenging. There are two rules. First, the statements must begin with "I appreciate..." Second, the statements must be about something the person has done, not about the way they look or things they have. As a coach your goal is to get them to relate actions in another person to feelings in response to those actions. The students will need help understanding the difference between "I appreciate" and "I like". It will help the team if you as a coach helps the students rephrase their words to fit the mold.

At the beginning of this round it will be a struggle for the students to come up with things they appreciate. This is because they do not yet have the skills to recognize situations where others positively influence them. Playing this game periodically will help the team learn and recognize what others do for them and provide the personal motivation to be more respectful.

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