August 14, 2012 Posted by Barbara Bray in Change, Learning Environments, Personalized Learning, Tips
Building Community in your ClassroomSchool starts soon for many. Some have started already. If you think of your classroom as a community of learners right away, then the culture changes. What is the culture of your classroom? Do you...
- spend hours and hours getting your classroom ready?
- buy lots of posters and materials to put on bulletin boards?
- arrange all the furniture just the right way?
- left the bulletin boards and walls empty so the room was an empty canvas ready for the community to design?
- had all the furniture in the middle of the classroom and had each learner help arrange the desks or tables together?
Some of you probably hear " if it was good for me, it's good for my child." Remember your experience and what it might feel like for your learners in your classroom. Their lives and experiences are connected and different than many of their teachers. Their experiences include the Internet, mobile devices, and have everything at their fingertips.If you already set up your classroom or that's just too out there for you. Then take a chance to arrange your furniture in an unconventional way. Then ask your students for feedback. Keep some of the walls or bulletin boards empty and ask your students to submit ideas on what to put on them. Have ways to hang student work or questions from your students from the ceiling. Some more ideas for the first few days of school:
- meet and greet each student at the door with a smile and a handshake.
- invite everyone to contribute to the class rules -- include some off the wall, funny rules.
- use an icebreaker or have them tell a story so everyone has a voice the first few days.
- share what the expectations are for the year and ask for feedback.