FEELING STRESSED

TEACHING V-8 MOMENTS

BEHAVIOR 101

Building Community in Your Classroom

How do you build  a sense of community in your room?  How about:

1.  Let your students write your a class constitution.  Here's a great printable you can use:

2.  Help your students get to know each other with buddy interviews.  Pair your students with a buddy.  Each student will interview his/her buddy.  You can use the form below.  Buddies will share the results of the interview with the class.  While your students are listening to reports, have them fill out the venn diagram.

http://teach123-school.blogspot.com/

http://teach123-school.blogspot.com/

3.  Classroom themes are fun, too.  Books such as Curious George or Arthur are great themes for a classroom.   There are thematic packs you can purchase at TPT.  

Here's one Dr. Seuss fans should check out: Crystal @ Kreative in Kinder made a Seusstastic pack.

http://teach123-school.blogspot.com/
Click to go to her TPT store.

Would you like a little "peace" in your classroom this year?  Mel D. @ Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations has a groovy packet you should check out!

http://teach123-school.blogspot.com/
Click to go to her TPT store.


Michelle @ No Monkey Business has several back to school thematic packets.  Themes include:  monkey, frog, bees, ocean, giraffe, owl, and mouse.



4.  One of my followers from the blog, Every New Beginning, asked for suggestions for building community when you are departmentalized.  Teaching 7 sections in one day presents a big challenge.  Here are a few of my suggestion.  If you have some other ideas, leave a comment below.

How about giving each of the 7 classes a name, with the names having an overall theme.  For example if your theme is cartoons, one class could be the Jetsons, another the Peanuts Gang, another class the Looney Tunes, etc.  Older students might think cartoons are too childish, so use a theme such as sports teams.  One class could be the Spurs, another class the Lakers, etc.  This will help each class develop a class identity.  You could give class points for things such as 5 points if 90% of the class has their homework, 3 points if 80-89% of the class has their homework, etc.  

You could also arrange desks into teams.  It's easier for students to get to know 3 or 4 students on a team that an entire class at one time.  Give 2 points if everyone on a team has their needed supplies and one point if all but one person has their supplies.

To lessen paperwork hassles, assign each class a color.  Example:  the Jetson class is the blue class.  Students in the Jetson class have blue homework/classwork folders.  When they turn in their assignments, captains highlight names on the assignments with a blue highlighter.  This will make it easier for you sort paperwork by sections of students plus ensure that everyone has their name on their paper.  You will need one highlighter per team.  Have captains of your teams highlight the names on class work/homework and then turn in the work to you.  Clip the team's paperwork together at the top of the page.   After collecting all of the teams' work, put a clip/binder clip on the side of the paper to clip all of the teams' work together.  Grade each teams' work, clip teams' work back together, and give graded team work back to captain to hand out to his/her team.  

I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  How do you build community in your classroom?










8 comments

Swimming Into Learning said...

My students help to write our list of "classroom expectations." We also have a friend helper everyday who helps their friends to make sure that they are meeting the classroom expectations.

http://swimmingintolearning.blogspot.com/

EveryNewBeginning said...

Do you have any suggestions for me- my team is departmentalizing. I will have 7 different classes next year. With such a short time with each group, I really want to find things that will help them each bond with me and my room.

Thanks!
Every New Beginning

Michelle said...

Hi EveryNewBeginning,
7 different classes would be a challenge to build community, but not impossible. How about giving each of the 7 classes a name, and each name of the classes is with an overall theme. For example if your theme is cartoons, one class could be the Jetsons, another class Sponge Bob, the Peanuts Gang, Looney Tunes, etc. Older students might think cartoons are too childish, so use a theme such as sports teams. One class could be the Spurs, another class the Lakers, etc. This will help each class develop a class identity. You could give class points for things such as 5 points if 90% of the class has their homework, 3 points if 80-89% of the class has their homework, etc.

You could also arrange desks into teams. It's easier and quicker for students to get to know 3 or 4 students on a team that an entire class at one time. Give team points for things such as 2 points if everyone has their needed supplies.

Good luck!
Michelle

Arlene said...

Michelle, building community is so critical at the beginning of the school year. Thanks for sharing this great information. Even in my ESL learning center my students helped make the rules and signed a contract- brought it home and had their parents sign it.
Arlene
LMN Tree

Lori said...

Great ideas on building community in the classroom! Classroom community is so important and good classroom community makes a huge difference!
Lori
Conversations in Literacy

Fern Smith said...

Thank you for sharing this at TBA and linking up! I always ♥love everything you write about and make!
~Fern
Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
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susanlulu said...

You have 1 mistake on the Buddy Interview sheet. I think it is #1 where it says to name 3 things you are good at. It should be a period at the end and not a question mark. Thanks for the freebies!!!!!!!
susanlulu@yahoo.com

Michelle said...

Thanks for letting me know about the mistake. I fixed it.