Building a Community

Let’s talk classroom community.
How do you foster a sense of community in your classroom?

This is something I try to create from the minute they walk into my room on Open House. I want students to feel comfortable and safe… every teacher does, right? I want students to feel like they can take risks and try, without being afraid of failure. How do we get students there?

Classroom community. We work together. We are a team. We cheer each other on. How do I do this? Here are two ways I build a community.

In a community there must be rules.

My first few years teaching I created the rules with my students the first day. I loved this. We had great discussions. But, with all things I had to remember I kept forgetting the rules and the numbers we assigned to them. I would mix up rules from previous years, it was a mess. So, I started using Whole Brain Teaching rules. Much easier for me. I post these rules in a visible spot with the assigned number for easy referral. We still had genuine discussions about the rules and what they meant to us, and students still took ownership. I encourage students to hold each other accountable for the rules, and in turn this helps them learn to work out problems on their own. Ok, yes I mediate A LOT at the beginning of the year, but eventually they are able to talk to each other about a rule they did not follow and how it made them feel.

In a community everyone must be held responsible.
Everybody has a job and plays a part. I use classroom jobs to teach accountability. I assign the line leader (ABC order) every Monday and the other kids pick their job after announcements that morning. To make this task quick I create a clip chart, so students could do it themselves. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year making sure jobs are done correctly and setting the standard of expectation. Eventually I can back off and the students hold each other accountable. Who didn’t stack the chairs? We need more pencils sharpened. Who needs to wipe the tables today? These are often questions I hear them ask each other. But it takes work on the front end. If I don’t teach them how to do the jobs well then they won’t get done the way we need them to. They won’t hold each other accountable, if I don’t do it first.
If you like my clip chart or rules posters you can get them here....

Class Jobs: Shabby Chic Clip Chart {EDITABLE}

Shabby Chic: Classroom Decor {Editable}

How do you form a sense of classroom community?

No comments:

Post a Comment