Building classroom community and connections with your students is one of the most important objectives you should have throughout the school year. In today’s post, we’re going to chat about engaging ways to easily build classroom community
Relationships above everything
Whether it’s the beginning of the school year or not, you should prioritize building classroom community and connections with your students. Focusing on these two things will help you develop relationships with them. Moreover, your students will develop relationships with one another. Once you’ve established solid relationships with and between your students, it’s much easier to focus on content.
Engaging ways to easily build classroom community
So, my friend, Cara, and I created some great activities for building classroom community that are 90s themed! As children of the nineties, we knew there was SO much we could work with using this theme. They promise a good time for students and the teacher! They are all designed to help you…
- Model behaviors
- Set expectations
- Establish procedures, routines, and rules
- Encourage team building
- Facilitate friendships and camaraderie
- Support and encourage individuality
- Build and enhance teacher-student and student-student relationships
- …and, of course, have fun!
Getting to Know You Activities
Getting to know you activities are designed to help you learn more about your students. They can be completed individually and they provide students a chance for them to inform you about themselves. As I mentioned, these activities are 1990s themed, so they reflect some of the trends from that time.
- View Me – students create a View Master that shares information about them
- 10 Things I Want to Know About You – students use the spinner as a writing prompt
- Pop Culture – this super sized game board uses plastic poppers to help groups of students learn about each other
- Me by the Foot – students share a snack and facts about themselves
This is a FAVORITE activity among students and teachers. Known as Team Building Tetriz, this is a twist on the popular video game from my youth. Students cut apart puzzle-like pieces and work together to fit them altogether on the game board.
Goal Setting and Growth Mindset
Next up are two activities to help your students think about goals and growing throughout the school year.
- Now and Later – Students choose a candy and then coordinate it with a category; within that category, they record a response for something they can do well now and something they’d like to do well later
- Fresh Prints – Fresh Prince, get it?! Students make share their unique handprint and then explain how they will leave their ‘prints’ on the school year.
Speaking and listening
Sometimes, we forget that our students need appropriate behaviors modeled and time to practice them. That’s why we encourage Lunchbox Learning. There are several no-prep, print and go table tents designed to encourage conversation at lunch time and listening! Model how to use this tool to generate conversations among new friends.
Do you remember Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic (affiliate link)? This next activity is based on the poem in that collection called, A Light in the Attic. After reading it and determining it’s meaning, your students can create this craft to celebrate their own light. The point of this activity is to celebrate the light each student has inside the.
Other activities to build classroom community
I hope this post gave you several activities and ideas to think about ways to prioritize and develop relationships in your classroom. When we focus on relationship building, our classroom community is naturally stronger. When our classroom community is stronger, we’ve created an ideal environment for learning to take place! All of the activities shared above are available for purchase HERE.
If you’re still looking for more ways to build classroom community – especially at the beginning of a new school year – check out the posts below!
Kindergarten | First Grade | Second Grade
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