With my class I have been working really hard to build a strong classroom community. I’m in a small school where the students have known each other for years and have been in the same class every year since kindergarten. They are all like siblings, prodding and poking at each other in just the right way to make everyone flip out. Slowly we’re moving in a positive direction. Here are some things that are working for me:
These are a big one and I try to do them almost every day. We share simple things, like how was your weekend, and bigger things to. Things like how do you feel when someone is rude or mean. We have two buddies Hulk and Darth who we pass around.
Sharing our Work:
I try to find time most days for a few students to share something that they’re really excited about with the whole class. It could be a book they’ve read during read to self, or a piece of writing they’re really excited about.
Celebrating little successes:
I try to really overwhelmingly get excited about any positive progress that we make. Whoa! Guys you picked up all the books without me having to remind you! Thanks so much! Hey that was such a kind thing you said just now! You’re a great friend!
Right now before every student leaves at the end of the day I offer them a choice between a hug, high- five, or props. This lets them know that even if we had a tough day I’m still on their team, and is just a nice way to end the day!