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The Maze Team Builder


June 29, 2011

Found In: back to school, building trust & community, icebreakers

An activity I do during the first week of school is something I learned in a workshop from Quantum Learning, called The Maze. I begin by using masking tape to create two grids, or mazes, on the classroom floor. I use two grids, since I can have up to 35 students, and one grid makes the wait to get on it too long. I generally use a 5 X 5 grid, but it can be done using 4 X 4 or 6 X 6, depending on how much time you have for it, and the grade level you're working with.

Next, I divide students into two groups, except for two students, who receive directions and the solution to the Maze. These two students act as judges for the teams on each grid. Students take turns trying to find their way through the maze. Only one student can go at a time. There's no talking of any kind, or the person on the Maze has to step off and go back to the beginning. Students can make noise, as long as no words are spoken.

The judge beeps if someone steps on the wrong square or strays from the right path, and that person has to back up to the first square, exactly as they came forward through the maze, and then step off. Then the next person may begin. Students take turns until one person finds the ‘correct path.’ The object of the game is to get your whole team all the way through the Maze as fast as possible.

Smaller classes could use just one grid, and the teacher could be the judge, allowing all the kids to try the Maze.

It's a great game for building a community, and it forces students to pay attention to each other, so that they can remember the correct path and which squares are not on the path to success.

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