Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Raise the bar "

Teach like a Champion 2.0

Doug Lemov


Teach like a Champion 2.0 is not like a the other books we discussed before. Instead of a book with icebreakers and energizers, this book lays it’s focus on teaching. It is a fantastic book that ever teacher should have on his shelf. But also if you are not a teacher we, from 101icebreakers, believe that Teach like a Champion can help you in your professional life. Despite the fact that it was not made for meetings and teambuilding. The principals used to engage students, can be used to engage employees or other member of your team. Moreover the book can help you develope  your teaching skills. And many of the thing used by teachers are also valuable in businesslife.


Teach like a Champion 2.0 consists of 12 chapters. Each chapter has it’s own purpose. For example, Building character and trust, Systems and routines, or Setting high expectations. These are all themes that occur in books about icebreakers. And with the book comes a set of videos in which teachers show you how you can handle certain situations. The writer, Doug Lemov, is also managing director of Uncommon Schools. It is their mission to raise the standards at low-incomes schools through great teachers and give the students a better chance of getting to college.

If you want to order the book or read more about it, you can click here.

The Magic Rope

The Magic Rope is one of my favorite icebreakers.
There is so much in it and a lot can happen.
The intention of the exercise is that the group gets a short assignment and that the assignment is only successful when everyone has done it.

After that, I let the group choose a challenge.
With this I stimulate the team to be self-steering.

This activity promotes:


Time: 20 – 30 min
Participants: 8 or more
Inside and outside

Required materials
1 large rope and 1 or 2 people to turn the rope(2 turners if the rope can not be attached anywhere).

Set all participants on one side of the rope (keep the sun in mind)

Tell the participants that they get assignments and that these are only successful when it has been successfully completed by the whole group. The assignments start very easily and slowly become increasingly more difficult.

How it works:
The assignment is as follows:

  • Try to get to the other side of the rope without touching the rope.
  • First keep the rope still right above the ground ,so they can step over it. Repeat this with the rope twice. The second timeYou hold it up high enough, as a result they will have to walk underneath. But if they are smart, they run around it. This is allowed.
  • Keep turning the rope from now on and adjust the assignment;
  • First every time the rope turns around one person has to go under the rope.
  • Second go to the other side with 2 people at a time.
  • Now every time the rope turns around, there must be 4 people underneath.
  • After that go with 8 people and then with everybody.
  • Let the participants to make a plan to go underneath the rope at the same time. After they made it and told you, the instructor, they aren’t allowed to talk anymore.


Vary with the rules: Every time the rope turns, 1, 2, or more must pass under the rope.
You can have some participants blindfolded. So that it becomes more exciting.
Make duo’s and let them invent there own assignment.
What happened? (this is asking for actual behavior)
How do you feel about it?
What have you learned?

Security check
Try to avoid wet undergrounds. Also if someone touches the rope, then let loose of the rope.

The Challenge Circle

The Challenge Circle is used on all sorts of times and for different reasons

This activity promotes:


Time: 20 – 30 min

Participants: 5 or more

inside as well as outside possible


Required materials

Two big ropes in a circle. By which the smallest rope a circle forms inside the circle from the longer rope.


Arrange all the participants to stand on the outside of the outer rope.


If your goal is to challenge your participants more you can do this after a break. This way you give them the opportunity to stretch themselves further in the remaining time.

When your goal is getting to know eachother better, you can do this at any moment.

When evaluating is your goal you almost always do this at the end.

How it works

The three circles stand for:

  1. comfortzone (inner circle)
  2. stretch zone (middle circle)
  3. panic zone ( outside the circles)

The activity goes as followed:

  • Someone says an activity (such as bungee jumping) and everyone goes standing in the zone that fits their perception.
  • Everyone takes turns in naming an activity. So, as coach you don’t have to do anything, but you can always join…


  • As trainer you can suggest activities that people in the group avoid or don’t think of. For example “giving feedback to your colleagues”.
  • You can say “You are standing over there, can you explain why…”
  • If you use this activity as evaluation you can ask: “When you look back on this day: Where are you then? Did you challenge yourself? Can you explain why your standing there?”
  • A good question to ask is “In which zone do you grow/learn the most?”(the stretch zone). What did you show today? And If you want to learn more what could you do? You can use these questions to challenge your participants.

Safety check

This is an emotional exercise, inquire how far you can go.