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Building Community in the Classroom: Ideas & Activities

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  • 0:04 Strong Classroom Communities
  • 0:35 Introductions
  • 1:36 Student Jobs
  • 2:25 Classroom Projects
  • 3:20 Communication &…
  • 3:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derek Hughes
Building a strong classroom community is key for creating a safe, productive learning environment. This lesson will give some tips and activities you can use to build a strong community in your classroom.

Strong Classroom Community

Building a strong classroom community is incredibly important for helping your students to feel safe and comfortable in the learning environment. A classroom community is a cooperative environment within a classroom, in which students play different roles, hold varying responsibilities, and successfully navigate interactions amongst one another.

Mr. Jefferson, a second grade teacher at an elementary school, understands the importance of a strong classroom community. Every year, he incorporates several activities to help establish and nurture his classroom community.

Introductions

First, and most importantly, make sure that the students know each other. The rest of the tips and activities will mean nothing if students are afraid to interact with one another because they haven't met or are shy. During the first week of a new class, Mr. Jefferson uses an icebreaker activity to not only help students get to know each other, but to teach a lesson about teamwork.

The only item needed for this activity is a ball of yarn. Mr. Jefferson begins by holding the end of the yarn, introducing himself to the class with his name and a fact about himself, and rolling the ball of yarn to a student. The student grabs the piece of yarn, repeats the process, then rolls the ball to another student while still holding on to his piece of the yarn. This process is repeated until all students have a turn and they've created a complicated web of yarn.

Before the yarn is put away, Mr. Jefferson takes the opportunity to teach a short lesson about teamwork, pointing out that each student played an important part in the creation of the web. The icebreaker helps the students get to work together while getting to know one another.

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