When students start a new school year, they are so excited to see their friends again. However, they are also nervous for various reasons. Some may have ended the previous school year feeling left out. Or, some students may be new and not know anybody. Honestly, students experience so many emotions at the start of the year. It is essential to focus on building a classroom community to help everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Thankfully, there are different tips and resources to help teachers do this from the first day of school!
An essential part of building a classroom community involves discussion. Students need to open up and engage with each other. However, this can be scary for students! Thankfully, a Morning Meeting is an incredible way to help students get to know each other.
The Morning Meeting Classroom Discussions consist of 25 Roll and Talk boards. Some boards focus on academics. Specifically, this includes picture prompts and questions for early readers and ones for fiction and nonfiction books. Additionally, other boards allow students to learn about each other. Honestly, this is a fantastic way to get students talking!
These boards work great with partners, small groups, and whole-group discussions. If using this resource with partners or small groups, provide each group a Roll and Talk board and dice. Students will take turns rolling the dice and discussing the question for that number. If using this resource with a whole class, students can take turns rolling and sharing. This allows students to build a community with each other while they learn about their classmates.
Many times, students want to talk to each other. They genuinely want to learn about their classmates. However, nerves set in, and they forget how to start a conversation. Thus, they just need a bit of help. Thankfully, the Printable Discussion Cards and Digital Discussion Questions provide 200 questions to build conversation! While discussing their answers, students are working on higher-order thinking skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving!
Honestly, there are so many ways to use discussion cards. Personally, I love to use them during our Morning Meetings. Students love sitting in a circle and sharing their answers for everyone to hear. Often, this helps spark conversation and friendships once students see what they have in common with others. Likewise, the cards are perfect for partners or small groups. They also work great when we have a couple of extra minutes. Students can even answer the questions at a writing center and then share them with classmates! The various ways to use the cards will help ensure that building classroom community is fun and exciting for students!
Building Classroom Community by Singing Songs
Honestly, songs are an incredible way to focus on building classroom community while learning! Thus, the Songs for the Year packet includes 37 original songs to use throughout the year. There are general welcoming songs to start each day and themed and seasonal songs. For instance, some songs integrate perfectly into science and social studies lessons!
Personally, I love to use these songs during our Morning Meeting time. They are such a fun way to excite and unite students before learning. Students will love singing together throughout the day!
Building classroom community is an essential part of having a great school year. Ultimately, a community allows everyone to feel welcome, included and supported. With these resources above, your classroom will be one students are always excited to enter!
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