Ways to build a classroom community

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by futureteacher13, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2015

    Hi there! As teachers, we are all about building a successful classroom community where our students will benefit the most from their learning experiences. My question is what are some ways I could go about building that community?
     
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  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jun 22, 2015

    Last year, I had a lot of girl drama in my class. I teach 5th grade; it comes with the territory. I also had a class that was 3/4 girls. Anyway, our amazing counselor guided me into starting community circles with my class (aka "class meetings"). I set aside a 30-40 minute time block for that each week. We discussed problems, issues, and how the kids are feeling about certain things. It was really an amazing time. Last year, I had a student go through a death in the family, and community circle was where he wanted to open up to work through the issue. I am definitely going to continue those meetings next year.

    When I taught 1st, we did bucket filling. The kids would write little notes to each other and put them in their "buckets," aka a pocket in a special pocket chart I found. I loved that. I've been trying to figure out a way to get something like that going in 5th.

    In the day to day, I've found that the simplest way to build community is to give lots of opportunities for different pairs and groups of kids to work together. We started out the first week of school with STEM challenges in random teams - a different team every time. The kids loved that and they got to know different people. At the end of the year when we looked at pictures of those activities, the kids all expressed fond memories toward the team challenges.

    I also had boys lunch and girls lunch last year. I ended up having the lunch on Wednesdays and alternating weeks. They would come after they ate and play games, listen to music, etc. That was a great way for different kids to get to know each other, and helped me build relationships with them as well. In first grade, I did "lunch bunch" where I would randomly pick 5 or 6 kids to eat lunch with me once a week, cycling through until everyone had a turn. I actually really liked that because they got to know other kids they may not have spent time with otherwise. I may do that again..hm...
     
  4. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2015

    Have them work for a common goal, perhaps a reading competition with another class.
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 1, 2015

    I was also going to suggest the Morning Meeting Book. Does your school have an anti-bullying or social skills program? Encourage the kids to be problem solvers. :)Jodi
     

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