With so many things on a teacher’s daily to-do list, fostering a classroom community might fall to the bottom of the priority list.Lesson planning, assisting students in preparing for standardised examinations, reaching goals, accomplishing administrative obligations, maintaining discipline, and other concerns plague teachers. As a result, finding extra time to participate in community-building activities may seem daunting.Building classroom community, on the other hand, is one of the most successful strategies to offer children ownership over their own classroom, as educators know. Making time for community-building helps instructors discover that discipline is less of an issue, and kids who may have fallen behind are inspired to work harder to keep up with their classmates.Six ways for fostering community in the classroom are listed below. These tactics are often applicable to people of all ages.
Weekly Class Meetings Should be Held:
Holding weekly meetings with your students is a simple but effective technique to develop a classroom community. These gatherings don’t have to be long; they can merely serve as a method for students and instructors to check in on each other’s progress.
The meeting can be used to discuss how well the rules are being followed if you’ve created extremely clear class rules. Teachers can provide three to five pupils the opportunity to ask a specific classroom question or share a week’s highlight.
Though you should urge students to keep extremely specific course-related inquiries for one-on-one time, these sessions may be anything you want them to be: a chance for your class to talk about their objectives and how your classroom is set up to assist them to achieve those goals.
The substance of the meetings may vary depending on the age range of your kids, but if pupils are aware that they are coming up, they will have a small event to look forward to outside of the usual curriculum. They will also develop friendships with their peers and feel like they have ownership of the classroom.
Concentrate on Gratitude: –
Gratitude is an excellent method for anybody to refocus and feel more connected to others, but it can be a particularly enjoyable approach to foster community in the classroom.
This community-building tactic can be approached in a variety of ways by teachers. Teachers can develop a colour-coded gratitude list with topics like “Name one person you are thankful for and why,” which matches to straws or pieces of paper, especially for younger kids. Students pick a straw or a piece of paper and look for an item on the list that matches it. The pupils then pair up with a partner who is wearing the same colour as them and exchange their responses to the question or suggestion.
Collaborate to Achieve the Same Goal:
Educators are well aware that many kids respond favourably to rewards such as pizza parties, additional recess time, or even time to play games during class.
Create a common objective for the class based on performance or conduct, and then have a reward stated after students attain that shared goal. This is a fantastic method to keep the class linked while also giving kids an incentive to behave.
Teachers can keep track of their student’s progress toward this objective by displaying a board in front of the class, a diagram, or any visual signal that allows pupils to see how far they’ve come. This will motivate them to meet goals and allow them to collaborate in order to win the prize they wish to share as a class.
Give Compliments or Shout-Outs on a Daily Basis:
Creating a shout-out or compliment routine in the classroom is a simple and quick method to foster community. Students are more likely to keep striving to perform well and receive more shout-outs or congratulations if they hear they are doing well.
Teachers can have a complement circle on a regular basis, in which one student compliments another. Teachers can also opt to offer a shout-out to one student or a select group of students at the end of each class.
This ritual takes almost little time but allows students to acknowledge one another for outstanding work while also allowing teachers to set a positive example for the rest of the class. A compliment has the power to change someone’s day!
Discussion Board Buddies:
Dialogue boards are frequently used as the foundation for virtual classrooms, however, rather than stimulating meaningful discussion, they frequently result in injustice. Those who publish first often receive the most answers since their work is the most prominent, whereas students who submit later often receive none.
Communities of learning and discourse occur only when discussion boards begin to resemble genuine conversations—when students advance the conversation rather than merely complying with the bare minimum.
Because they ensure that students are engaged in a direct and meaningful back and forth, discussion board friends that link two students mimic in-person talks. Teachers may encourage the type of inclusivity that exists in the physical environment by intentionally matching students rather than assigning them a group of kids to connect with.
Each student is assured of receiving replies to their thoughts using discussion board pals, and students get to know one another as they cycle among the other students in the class, which can help deconstruct online groupings or cliques.
It’s usually best to designate discussion board pals weeks ahead of time (maybe using a matrix that systematically pairs students on a rotational basis) so that students know who they’ll be paired with. This technique also relieves teachers of the responsibility of reassigning partners for each discussion, allowing them to concentrate on the content of students’ postings rather than the mechanics of organizing conversations.
Allow Students to Speak Up:
Finally, giving kids a voice is a fun and revealing a technique for classroom community development. Teachers can use feedback cards, weekly messages to the teacher, or classroom forums to do this.
Teachers may, for example, periodically send out cards to students with prompts such as “One thing I wish my teacher knew…” and blank lines for students to fill out the rest.
Pupils may then share their experiences with their instructor, and teachers can learn more about their students. This will ultimately result in the formation of a community.
Teachers may also instruct pupils to write entertaining facts about themselves on note cards and distribute them. Then the other pupils have to figure out who is on the card.
Various activities allow pupils to express themselves in the classroom and help them get to know one another. Even if instructors can only undertake this exercise once a week or once a month, the good benefits to the broader classroom community will be evident.
Also read: Peer Learning and its Significance
Question 1: How do you make your kids feel a part of the community?
Answer 1: – Encourage parents, neighbourhood groups, and businesses to bring their concerns to the school and use the local environment and community as hands-on learning opportunities. Invite community people into the classroom and take pupils to nearby natural regions and community venues.
Question 2: How do you create a learning community?
Answer 2: – By organizing a morning meeting on a regular basis, you can foster a sense of belonging. Make a poster or an anchor chart for your kids to show in the classroom. Devote the first 30 minutes of each day to this crucial social-emotional learning and relationship-building activity.