Sunday, January 5

5 Free Ways to Build Classroom Community

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Building a classroom community can be tricky! We want our students to treat each other with kindness and build friendships in the classroom. But how do we go about building a classroom community? A community where every child feels welcome and wanted? Read more to learn my 5 favorite and free ways to build classroom communities. 

Activities to Build Classroom Community

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Turtle compliments is such a fun activity to build classroom community! I like to do this activity after winter break and then again as the school year comes to a close. This classroom community building activity is super easy and free. It allows an opportunity for children to learn about compliment giving and kindness. Each child will tape a paper plate or piece of white paper onto their backs. Then, each person in the room is responsible for going around the room and writing one kind thing on each person's back. I always tape a paper to my back and join in on this activity. I like my kiddos to see me active modeling as we do this activity and to remind them that I am part of the classroom community too. 

Building Community in the Classroom

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Have you ever read the book Can I be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings? (you can grab it HERE) Well let me tell you it is simply adorable and the perfect book for building classroom community! Every student needs a friend in their classroom, and this book is a fantastic way to build those bridges! In this story, the dog Afry is looking for a home and a new friend. He writes letters to members of his neighborhood community sharing about his likes, dislikes, and why he would be a good friend.  Finally, he receives a letter from the mail lady and they team up to deliver letters and become friends. The first time I read this book, I fell in love with it. Building classroom community and it's a dog story, win win! So, I created a template to go along with this story where students can write a letter to a classmate explaining why they would be a good friend. You can download this FREE template HERE
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I love this activity because it always fosters unlikely friendships and boosts our classroom community.

Building Classroom Community Through Song

Ready for the best sing along ever? Have your kiddos do a poll on their favorite songs. Then work together to rewrite it for your class! It is such a fun activity to build classroom community! You can also rewrite a song yourself and then have your students team up to create dance moves to accompany your new class jam. My students love doing this classroom building activity, and let me tell you we really feel united when we start the day singing and dancing together! Not ready to rewrite a song yourself? No worries, I got you! Feel free to use the song I rewrote this year that goes to the tune of Old Town Road. You can download the FREE lyrics HERE!

Build Classroom Community by Spreading Kindness

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Another way to build classroom community is to spread kindness in the classroom. There are so many amazing ways to do this, but one of my favorite easy ways is called the Top Two activity. In this activity students take a name off the board and write their two favorite things about that person. It is a great opportunity for students to practice seeing the good in one another. I like to do this activity in the morning while students first come in and unpack. I tape the papers to the board (I use Astrobright paper because I'm obsessed with it) and let them pick one up. When they are finished, they will re-tape it to the board. In the end, we have a bright board full of compliments and a boosted classroom community! You can download the FREE Top Two activity HERE.
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How to Build Classroom Community Each Day

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Morning Meeting is a Responsive Classroom style lesson that is held at the start of each day. This style lesson allows all classroom members to gather together and begin each school day on a positive note. It is the perfect place to build classroom community daily! Morning Meeting provides routine and relationship building each and every day. I chunk out a time in my schedule each day for Morning Meeting (about 15-20 minutes). It is so important that I build this community building time into my daily routine because otherwise, with how much I have to teach each day, I would never have the time to do it. If you're looking for more information about Morning Meeting you can check out this great book called, The Morning Meeting Book. It has some great activities and games you can easily implement each day to help build you classroom community.
If your looking for easy ways to get started with morning meeting, you can check out my morning meeting resources. Just click HERE!


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