As students settle into their new classroom, they may have all sorts of nerves. For instance, many need time to warm up to a new teacher and routines. Students are also nervous about who they will sit by at lunch and play with at recess. So, teachers work hard to help students get to know each other. Building relationships and a classroom community is essential to a supportive, welcoming environment. Thankfully, classroom discussion is a fantastic way to do this!
Importance of Discussions
Students love to talk! Honestly, they will talk about anything at any time. However, they will not do this when they feel unsure about the people around them. So, the first few weeks of school are essential when building relationships and a classroom community! If this does not happen, students will feel scared to participate in lessons and share their thoughts. So, one of the best ways to help students get to know each other is through discussions. This allows students to have the support of their teacher as they learn all about their classmates.
When building relationships and a classroom community, the topic can make a huge difference. For example, students may have difficulty opening up about their favorite camping memory if they’ve never camped. However, they will be eager to open up about sharing their favorite food, summer experiences, or weekend activities. When students are familiar with topics, they are more comfortable opening up.
Turning Discussions into Relationships
When building relationships and a classroom community, there is one essential aspect to keep in mind! Students need to know they are around respectful classmates when they are opening up during a discussion. So, it is crucial to remind students never to make fun of a classmate for their opinion. If this happens, students will be scared to share, have hurt feelings, and be uncomfortable in the classroom. To avoid this, constructing norms and expectations will be incredibly helpful! Students need to know the expectations as they build classroom relationships.
The Discussion Question Cards create the perfect way to focus on building relationships and a classroom community! There are 200 different questions that allow students to work on higher-order thinking skills as they discuss their answers. They also work on oral language skills while discussing and listening skills as classmates talk.
Implementing the Question Cards
Personally, I love to have a consistent time to work on building relationships and a classroom community. It is so important for classrooms to get along, and I value our time getting to know each other. So, I use these every day during our Morning Meeting. I place them on a metal ring to quickly pull them out. I also pull the ring out if we ever have a couple extra minutes.
Honestly, it is crucial to focus on building relationships and a classroom community. Otherwise, students will be uncomfortable around each other. When this happens, they will hesitate to participate in lessons and be scared to ask questions. Thankfully, the Discussion Question Cards will be sure to build amazing relationships in your classroom!
If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will receive freebies for blog exclusive subscribers!