Just like any other working sector, COVID-19 pushed schools, teachers, and students into relying on the remote working model. It has been a full school year since teachers and students around the world are using virtual classrooms and distance learning as mainstream channels for education.
As all academic activities went online, the need for community team building became a necessity to keep the teachers connected with their peers. Tools such as zoom meetings have been a great help for virtual team-building activities and/or virtual ice breakers.
On the other hand, teachers have been utilizing virtual classrooms and coming up with events to instigate team spirit amongst the pupils. For this, you can use a variety of platforms that can offer virtual exercises for remote teams and community team-building opportunities for any group size.
If you are a teacher looking for ways to organize a virtual happy hour with your colleagues or find virtual icebreakers for your new students, this post is for you. You will learn about some of the best online team-building activities that you can use in both scenarios.
5 Virtual Team Building Activities for Teachers
In this section, you will learn about five activities that will help organize a virtual happy hour with your fellow teachers. In case there have been some new additions to the team, these online activities will be perfect virtual icebreakers to buck up the team spirit. So without further ado, let us dive right in.
If you are looking for a feel-good online team-building activity, this one is perfect for you. The game allows you to communicate with other teachers and build a rapport of trust with Totem. The game is fun and rewarding while you bond with your team sharing a positive experience.
This virtual online activity allows you to highlight each other’s qualities and strengths while discovering your own. When you join Totem, you will become a part of a global community with companies such as Pfizer, Desjardins, and Deloitte, etc.
2. Code Break
If you and your peers would love to have a virtual coffee chat over a cerebral activity, you are going to love Code Break. This online team-building activity will help you think outside the box and leverage your strengths by solving trivia questions, riddles, and puzzles.
Solving each challenge will earn you points to boost team spirit, and the team with the most points by the end will be the winners.
3. Six Degrees of Separation
While the school teachers have been working as remote employees, now it is time for them to find a partner. This particular virtual team-building activity is all about finding things you have in common with fellow educators and make a list of them.
- Pair up with a partner on zoom meeting.
- Go to the ‘breakout rooms’ for a one-on-one chat with each teacher for a pre-determined time.
- Move on to the next when the allotted time is over.
- Create a list of a maximum of five things you have in common with each teacher
The game ends once everyone has at least a single thing common with every colleague in the group.
4. Clue Murder Mystery
Had a hectic year with tiresome virtual classrooms? Well, you and your peers can now take a break from being educators and channel your energy into portraying a detective in a team-building activity. It is time to use Zoom meeting not to teach but to solve a deadly crime mystery.
This mystery plot involves the murder of Neil Davidson. You and your fellow teachers must form small groups, review case files, examine clues in order to weed out the person with the motive, means, and opportunity to commit this heinous crime.
This community team-building activity will challenge any group size of teachers to exercise critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills.
5. Team Pursuit
Are you a bunch of high-energy educators? Well, virtual Team Pursuit is a perfect fun activity for you to test your physical and mental skills. You will break into several teams of small group size and compete to score more points than your adversaries.
Playing against the clock will motivate you to put your energy to good use. This is one of the most effective icebreakers to get to know your colleagues as you get to discover their strengths and hidden talents. If you love activities such as scavenger hunt, you will have fun and benefit greatly with this one!
5 Team Building Activities Teachers Can Play with Students
Virtual team-building activities and games will help students in more ways than you can imagine. Therefore, as a teacher, you must investigate how you can use distance learning to promote teamwork and classroom community sense in your pupils.
Let us look at five of the simplest yet fun activities for virtual classrooms.
As the name suggests, this is a perfect virtual icebreaker for teachers to know their students and vice versa. You can make a series of your own questions or even ask your students to brainstorm with you to come up with some interesting questions.
Once you have all the questions, each student will roll a dice one by one with an online dice roller and answer the questions.
2. Mystery Person
Ask your students to write down their interests and submit them to you. They can do it during the virtual classroom session or send you their interests’ inventory via an email later. If any student does not want a particular interest shared with the rest of the class, ask them to mark a star next to it.
Once you have everyone’s interest list, you can share three of the interests from a student’s list and ask the rest to guess who you are talking about. In case no one can guess, give out one more clue. Continue the game until someone guesses the person.
3. Virtual Detective
This is a game of close observation and teamwork. You must pick a student who will play the role of a detective. First, all of the detectives will mute their laptop or device using for the virtual classroom and close their eyes and count to 30. In the meantime, you choose another student to be a leader.
This leader student begins by tapping the top of their head. The rest of the class quickly begins to follow. The detective student can now un-mute the device and starts observing. The leader changes their motion after a short time. For example, they will start to clap, and the rest follow him.
The task for the detective is to find out who the leader is, and he only gets three guesses. Then you choose a new leader and detective, and the game continues.
This one reveals the minds in your classroom. Give four sheets of paper to each student and ask them to color each sheet with the following labels.
- Purple – Strongly Agree
- Blue – Agree
- Orange – Disagree
- Red – Strongly Disagree
Once every student has completed the task, it is time for you to read out a statement such as “Shall we organize a virtual game every week?” or “Are dogs better pets than dogs?” etc. Your students will hold a colored paper out as per their preference.
What a fun way to find out what each of your pupils thinks and they know each other without uttering a word. However, the answers may act as an icebreaker for them to get to know each other later.
5. Story Chain
You start a story with an engaging plot. For instance, “Once a boy was walking through a dark forest, and suddenly he heard a scary sound behind him.” Now each student can raise their hand and continue to tell the next portion of the story.
However, each must only add a line or two and also choose the next storyteller if they want to. The game goes on until everyone interested has had at least one change to add to the story. You can always jump in and bring the story to an end if it is going nowhere.
Looking for Virtual Team Building Ideas?
If you are a school principal or a teacher who wishes to organize virtual activities with your colleagues or in remote classes, the above-mentioned are a great place to start. Simply get everyone on board and get the ball rolling to have fun and get to know each other.