One of my favorite parts of the beginning of the school year is building classroom community. The best way to have a successful year is to set up a kind and caring community right from the start. So here are a few things I do.
1. BUCKET FILLING
Check out this book -->
Everyone has an imaginary bucket. The bucket is filled with good thoughts. All day long your bucket is either emptying or getting fuller depending on how you're feeling about yourself. We read this book and a few more to discuss bucket filling and decide to be a class full of bucket fillers, not bucket dippers. We use this language throughout the year. It helps so much with preventing conflict and resolving conflict after lunch recess.
We have buckets in our class to write special notes to one another. Kids go crazy over this!
2. CLASS PROMISE
I tell my class that there are 26 of us in one little room for many hours each day. So how can we all get along and do our number one job...learning!? We create a class promise. All ideas are created by kids and I'm just there to help type it. You'll never see a list of rules posted in my classroom. Here's our promise:
3. RESPECTFUL HEART
All year we talk about putting "wrinkles" in others' hearts. When you are unkind, you can apologize, but you can never fully take the wrinkle away. I teach my class this little rhyme. (I don't know where I originally heard this, so if you know, tell me so I can give credit.)
"Before you speak
Think and be smart
It's hard to fix
A broken heart"
My class has literally taken this to heart. We're developing kind, caring, and respectful students.
|(The top letters look cut off at the top of this picture, but the actual PDF file is correct.)|
What do you do to develop your classroom community?