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A Simple Team-Building Routine With Big Results


     I learned this team-building strategy from a fellow teacher and adapted it for my 5th graders.  

     I call it "Triple H"- it stands for "Hug, Handshake, or High Five".  Every Friday as my students are lined up to go home and I'm telling them good-bye, each child and I share one of the three gestures - student choice.  OK, we also add fist bumps as a choice, but that ruins the acronym!   

     Triple H gives me a chance to let the kids know that even if we've hit bumps in the road during the week we are still a family and I care for them.  

     I've always been too focused on getting academics covered in the classroom and I really needed a custom or ritual like this. I'd heard that the single most important indicator of success for a child is the relationship with the teacher. A regular team-building activity or ritual would strengthen our classroom family. 

     I like that Triple H is not invasive, the student gets to choose what we share, and I have a moment with each individual. What has been surprising to me is the number of hugs I get! Both girls and boys seem to value giving and receiving a hug before the weekend. 

     We used Triple H for most of a year. I believe that my kids appreciated the weekly check-in. I was really touched one Friday when I'd been out for a meeting. I returned to campus right at dismissal and waved at a group of my students who were waiting for rides. Two students waved back anxiously and said, "We didn't get to do Triple H! Can we do it Monday?"

     Do you have a classroom custom like this?

Growing Grade By Grade
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  1. I love the triple H. We have a good-bye wisher in our room that tells each child that they are glad that they came to school today and they hope to see them tomorrow. We then have a variety of good-byes with different gestures...give a hug ladybug, see you soon raccoon, etc.

    I try and give each of my kiddos a hug or pat on the back or even our secret and special handshake and class sign. I remember that I might be the only one to love that kiddo for that day so I try and show it. =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. If you get the chance, I would love for you to hop over and visit me. =)

    Heather's Heart

  2. Aww, what a sweet routine you have in your classroom! I like the little rhymes, Heather! Thank you for your comments and for following me...I'm definitely zooming over to your blog! Triple H!


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