Day 138 (of 186) Interesting observation on team games (and why I’m moving away from them)
Got a crew that peers have called poor sports – some guys that “have to be” on the same team but are two very good athletes (one has amazing football talent for one so young – reminding me of Jon Cornish) so separation is the only way to keep teams “balanced”. But they will go to great lengths to get satisfy their athletic desires.
Also, they don’t mind being aggressive but hate it when aggressive back and will either complain or will heighten the aggression.
But even when on different teams, they “cheat” by helping each other be successful. Blocking players who are trying to make the came competitive and interesting and frustrating them while doing so!
If on other teams will sometimes “switch” to secretly be on the other friends team (reminiscent of Calvinball)
Willing to pass back and forth to isolate other classmates. They will complain “teams aren’t fair” when chosen so they aren’t all on the same side….
And ironically they all take part on community sports teams that I know emphasize teamwork and sportsmanship. But sometimes skills learned in the community don’t transfer inside the school walls (and vice versa of course).
Some adaptions I’ve made have been “individualized” sports – pop up/1vs1 dodgeball works until “unofficial teams” form.
Mini games have been helpful – competitive and friendly game sides so when frustrated, some can switch games.
Free time remains a good option – sometimes with restrictions to force some creativity and collaboration. Sometimes wide open to allow exploration and reminisce about the ‘good old days’ – like the parachute. I’m a fan of using morning gym time with free choice time to start the day. Allows me to connect with each kid and see who is in a good mood and who may have arrived a bit grumpy – until they got the basketball they call Lenny for a couple of shooting games.
With a smaller class size, I’m looking forward to baseball/kickball type games without teams, but rotating through the positions. And soccer…well they can form unfair teams during break times while I work out some 1vs all games now that the fields are green and the sun is out.
We are still working up to being “fair teammates” but this year has been more complex than others. So…please feel free to share strategies that have worked as we continue to evolve so that everyone sees value in playing fair – even (especially) if your favourite teammate isn’t on your side.