I'm excited to connect with everyone, bloggers AND non-bloggers. We are all teachers and we have SO much to share! I was a blog reader LOOOONG before I was a blog writer! At the end of this post I'll explain how everyone can share their ideas! Let's get started!
The first Tuesday of every month will be devoted to classroom community. Building a classroom community is probably THE most important thing we can do as teachers. It makes everything else flow smoothly, it makes our teaching better and most of all, it makes learning easier! The first few weeks of school are all about building that community of learners. It's important for students to get to know each other, personally and as learners. (I know, you're all nodding your heads, here. You get it!) This month, let's share ideas for activities we do to build classroom community during the first few weeks of school.
One way I start to build that community is with a simple but fun "getting to know you" activity. Students can work in partners or in small groups. Each kiddo takes a turn to roll the dice and uses the number s/he rolled to tell something about his/herself, using the sentence starters. Each time a number is rolled, it gets colored in on the graph. The first number to the top "wins!" (I have a sheet for 6-sided dice and one for 10-sided dice.) We model how t play the game first, by doing a whole class game where everyone gets a chance to roll and share something about themselves.
You can make this activity pretty much no-prep by getting your students involved in creating the questions! Make a chart with the numbers 1-6 (or 0-10 if you're using a ten-sided die). Work with your students to come up with 6 different questions. (Or you can do 5 questions and a "free choice.") Post the chart where everyone can see it (or project it on your whiteboard) and start playing! I like to do different themes each time. One day we'll do questions about families, another day about what everyone did over the summer.... have some fun and do silly questions, too! I introduce this game one day, then we play it as our morning work for a few days after that. (You can download the 2 sheets I use by clicking the image or clicking HERE. Have fun!)
Alright, friends! Now comes the fun part! STOP! What are you thinking right now? Do you do something similar in your classroom? Are you thinking of a community building activity you do during the first few weeks of school? I want you to SHARE! We're going to make this easy-peasy :-) I love reading comments on people's blogs about how other teachers modify/use/transform an existing activity, or about a completely different activity someone uses. EVERYONE has something to share because we all do such great things in our classrooms! Even if you don't think your idea is fantastic, I guarantee you - someone else will! And that's what this is all about - sharing our ideas with others. It's the best part of teaching!
If you're a blogger - join the linky! You don't have to write a completely new post. Link up one of your community building ideas you already shared. And if you're not a blogger, or you're just starting out and you don't have a post to link up - I still really want to hear from you! Leave a comment below sharing one activity you do in your classroom during the first few weeks of school to build classroom community. (If you're new to this, just click below the froggy with my name where it says "3 comments, or 27 comments, or whatever. That will open a box for you to type so you can share your idea.)
I'm excited to connect with teachers everywhere and read about all your great ideas! As a teacher, you know that the best ideas we have often come from other teachers! You just might be that inspiration!