Here are 15 Zoom games for school staff meetings to help you introduce the element of play and bring your dedicated staff closer together. All of these ideas are teacher-tested and approved…but you know your audience best. You might even have them vote on a game to play!
1. Break the Ice
One surefire way to get to know your teammates better is to ask good questions. Here are two lists of interesting, thought-provoking questions: 100 Best Icebreaker Questions and 350 Good Questions to Ask. During your staff meeting you can either throw out questions at random and let those who are comfortable speak up, or have each staff number choose a number and then answer the question corresponding to that number. (To make sure that everyone feels comfortable, allow “pass” to be an acceptable answer.)
If your staff is more into competing than soul-bearing, try a rousing game of trivia. You can include questions on your school’s history, sports trivia, or pop culture—anything you think will strike a chord with your staff. Here are three fun, user-friendly apps to make it easy: Quizlet, TriviaMaker, and QuizBreaker.
3. Two Truths and a Lie
Sometime facts truly are stranger than fiction! This classic get-to-know-you game involves everyone choosing two truths about themselves and something that is not (the wackier, the better!). One person states the three facts and other group members vote on which one is the lie. The truth is revealed, then a new person goes. Players keep track of how many lies they guess correctly and the person with the highest score wins.
4. Never Have I Ever
Think you know your coworkers? You might be surprised when you play a round of Never Have I Ever. This is one of our favorite Zoom games for school staff to do because it only involves them and their hands! To begin, have everyone hold up five fingers. Player one announces something they have never done, such as “Never have I ever … eaten an entire box of cereal in one sitting.” (Hint: It’s best if the player thinks it’s likely something other people have done.) The players who have done the activity put a finger down, the players that haven’t keep their fingers up. The next player comes up with a new thing they’ve never done and the other players either put a finger down or keep current fingers up. Play continues until the last person with fingers up wins.
5. Would You Rather?
In this game, two scenarios are presented and each player must choose the one they prefer. For example, “Would you rather have all traffic lights you approach be green or never have to stand in line again?” or “Would you rather every shirt you ever wear be kind of itchy or only be able to use 1 ply toilet paper?” Have players hold up one finger if they choose the first option and two fingers if they choose the second. Ask for volunteers to defend their position after each round. Here are over 200 Would You Rather questionsto inspire you.
6. Me Too!
This activity, called Me Too! , is played in three rounds. In Round 1: What’s True About Me, any member of the team raises their hand and shares a simple fact about who they are. Anyone who shares this fact also raises their hand. Play continues for a few minutes as others contribute. In Round 2: What’s Unique About Me, individuals share facts about themselves that they may not expect others to share and see how many people respond. In Round 3: What’s True About Us, players contribute facts that they think pertain to the group as a whole. The purpose of the game is to learn something new about each other and, in the end, understand how much we have in common.
7. Baby Photo Matchup
Ask all staff members to email you photos of themselves as a baby or a young child. Then, during your next staff meeting, reveal each photo one at a time and see if your staff can match the image with one of their co-workers.
8. Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
You might be surprised! Fifth graders learn a lot of amazing things about our world—things we probably also learned at one time, but have more than likely pushed into the far recesses of our brains. To play, collect a list of fifth-grade-appropriate questions, like these. Choose three staff members to play each round. Read one question aloud and call on the first person who raises their digital hand using Zoom’s raise hand feature. If they get the answer correct, they get a point. If not, the second person who raised their digital hand gets a shot. Continue through questions for a set amount of time, or to reach a certain score.
Scattergories is the super fun game of lists, and who loves lists more than teachers? To begin play, a letter of the alphabet and specific descriptors are chosen—for instance ‘things that grow’, ‘things that are found in the ocean’, ‘reasons to be late’, etc. Here is an easy to use online version. Players create a list of answers that begin with the designated letter on their own paper. When the timer goes off, each player reveals their answers one at a time. The group gets to vote on whether answers are acceptable or not. Players count up the number of acceptable answers for their score for that round.
Test your staff’s communication savvy with this fun online version of the game Taboo. For the game, you will use Clue Cards which have the Clue Word on the top of the card and the Taboo Words listed below. The object of the game is for one player to prompt a teammate to guess as many Clue Cards as possible in sixty seconds, without saying any of the Taboo Words listed underneath.
11. Five Things
Choose a topic, for example Famous Cartoon Characters. Select one staff member using this fun digital tool Wheel of Names . That person has 15 seconds to name five things that fit the designated topic. For instance, Jane’s name is chosen and she comes up with Fred Flintstone, Wile E. Coyote, SpongeBob Squarepants, Archer, and Woodstock. For the next round, Jane chooses a topic and the wheel is spun again for the next contestant.
12. Lip Sync Battle
Choose two brave staff members to compete in a lip sync battle. For inspiration, watch this classic lip sync battle between Jimmy Fallon and The Rock.
13. Virtual Dance Party
Another opportunity to rock out! Create a fun playlist of different tempo dance-inspiring songs. Play your first song and have everyone get up out of their seats and show their best dance moves. Switch to the next song out every 15-30 seconds to keep the moves fresh.
Everyone—from preschoolers to senior citizens—loves a good round of Bingo. It’s quick, it’s easy and, depending on the topics you choose, it can be hilarious! Here is a free Bingo template to use with your co-workers, as well as a blank template to create your own version.
15. Speed Scavenger Hunt
These days it seems like we all have more than enough sitting-in-one-place-glued-to-the-screen moments. Get your staff members up and moving with a round of Speed Scavenger Hunt. Call out an item that is not likely in your teachers’ immediate workspaces such as a laundry detergent pod, a striped sock, or a spatula. As soon as the item is called out, players race to collect that item and be the first one to get back to their screen with the item in hand.
For guidance on setting norms with your staff, check out How to Be Successful With Online Faculty Meetings.
What are your go-to activities and Zoom games for school staff meetings? Come and share in our Principal Life group on Facebook.