Students are returning to their schools with different feelings because they all have been through different experiences during the remote education process. Each student may have developed a different attitude towards the new pandemic-related rules such as wearing masks, social distancing or using disinfectants. Thereby, some students may be excited about returning to school and their friends, while others have some concerns regarding that matter.
Utilizing group games and activities that can be applied in different contexts for different age groups will make it easier to focus on the moment while also preparing them for other events. They strengthen the in-group communication, enabling the participants’ ability to easily connect with the group.
They will provide a unique opportunity for students to re-orientate and balance their feelings; to come together and act as a group; and for you to to spend efficient time with your students in a safe classroom environment.
The children’s participation in the processes is significant while working with them since it supports their self-development while making it easier for you to cooperate with them. By preparing a classroom contract in which they all equally participated, you will help create an environment where the children communicate in a healthier way.
However, some rules may not be children’s ideas. It is essential that you propose and discuss topics such as wearing a mask, complying with the social distance and hygiene rules.
Preparing this contract will not only contribute to the setting up of order and respect in the classroom, but it will also develop their sense of freedom, democracy and equality. Furthermore, it will assist their adaptation to social life.
While creating the contract, there are some important notes that should be taken.
A Song About Handwashing
Repeating what you’ve learned and applying it to your different senses throughout the process is an integral part of the learning phase.
Due to the pandemic, you may often find the need to remind the children of the hygiene rules and other precautions. In this case, giving reference to the classroom contract that you prepared with the children while doing activities involving them will make the learning and internalization process easier.
A common song for the class can be prepared about handwashing steps so that the children could gain the habit of “washing hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure hand hygiene.” You can also choose a song that you already know and alter it by adding a few new lyrics. It will enable them to create a classroom-specific product together while developing their sense of ownership since they are making a joint product and participating in a shared decision-making process. Furthermore, it will enable the application of handwashing rules, which is one of the essential hygiene-related rules. Lastly, don’t forget to hang the pictures showing the handwashing steps as below, where everyone can see them in the classroom.
Two Truths and a Lie
This game can be applied in the classroom, where each student is asked to think of two true and one false facts about themselves.
To guide the children during the game and make it easier for them to think, teachers can give examples such as “I like swimming (true), I like to observe nature (true), I adopted a cat (false).”
As students take turns to share their facts and others to find which one is false, they will learn a lot about each other while speculating and commenting. It will not only improve their communication skills, but it will also help them to focus on the whole by advancing their listening and paying attention abilities.