The Extraordinary Teaching Project: Ensemble-Building Games: “I am, I Like, I Do”On August 9, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
The games are a means to an end and the goal is having students feel like they can
trust each other, that they have some knowledge of each other: they know each other. I
call the game “I am I like I do” because the goal of the game is to start
saying things that are true about yourself. And so the way the game works is you have a
person in the center and then chairs ringing that person. So the person in the center doesn’t have a chair, and they would like one. So they state
something that is true about themselves and everyone else for whom that is true must get up and find a new chair, which
gives the person in the center the opportunity to get a place to sit. And what generally happens and is you want to
have happen is that the person in the center does
find a new chair. So you have a new person in the center who now has to say something about themselves. You’d like to have
everyone in the center at least once. And that happens much more easily than one would think, but what’s really telling
about it is that there are times when someone
will say something about themselves and it’s only true for one other person.
And so you get to switch places with that person and go That’s the other person who has an adopted sibling. Or that’s the other person who has never been an airplane before.
Or whatever it is that people say about themselves.
And so that can be a really nice moment of connection. This is the game
that people start to go oh, I have something in common
with you and I have something in common with you
and I have something in common with you. And so then it can be kind of a conversation
starter for the next time that they come into
contact with those people. And then it helps them to do the work of building relationships
on their own. Just because I have an exercise that might
be called a game doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful, again, to
get to the place where people can have relationships with
each other. The idea of having a voice in a group if you don’t
have a relationship with anyone in the group is a little bit
scary, and so I think it’s important for faculty to think about the relationships that students have with each other, not just with you. Which is
again why the word ensemble is a really useful term, I think, when you talk about classroom.
Because an ensemble works together towards that