Top 5 Best Ways To Build Positive Classroom Community
By intentionally taking time to build a positive community in your classroom, you can ease the challenges of classroom management, improve student attitude toward learning, and create an environment where students feel welcomed and supported.
Setup a classroom challenge
Establish a positive classroom community by having students complete short activities that encourage kindness, collaboration, teamwork, expression, and the sharing of ideas and opinions.
These challenges don’t need to take up a lot of time. Have them last 5-10 minutes. They can be used daily as a bell-ringer, weekly as a fun Friday activity, or even randomly when you finish class a few minutes early!
Star using class throwbacks
You know that nostalgic feeling you get when you are reminiscing with your friends about times past? Bring that into your room with “Classroom Throwbacks.” Students use small cards to write down funny, interesting, and memorable moments that happen within the classroom and put it in the “Classroom Thowbacks” jar/box.
Celebrate student accomplishments
I once had a principal who left notes of appreciation in teachers’ mailboxes for little things she had noticed them doing. It was such a small gesture, but it had a dramatic impact on the morale of the staff.
Build this same kind of morale in your classroom by finding ways to celebrate your students for the things you see them doing that deserve some praise and appreciation.
There are lots of ways you can do this. You can post student work in your classroom, call or email parents to brag up those students who don’t often get a pat on the back, or even have a student of the month/week display for those who deserve special recognition! (Source: studentsrawesome.co).
Hire student paparazzi
Ask for volunteers for “student paparazzi”. Their job is to take pictures of students in the classroom and send them to you via email to print and post. Of course, students should only take pictures when you deem it appropriate. They could take some before and after the bell rings or during a class activity or at the end of the period if class finishes up a couple minutes early. When you post the pictures in your classroom, consider framing them!
End the week with a “Friday 1-2-3-4-5!”
Providing students with an opportunity to reflect on the positive moments of the week and look forward to the next week is another way to help foster classroom community. One way you can do this is by starting a weekly tradition called “Friday 5-4-3-2-1”.
Students fill out the sheet by jotting down 5 things that made them smile, 4 words to describe the week, 3 things they have planned for the weekend, 2 things they learned, and 1 goal they have. Give students a few minutes to fill it out and have them share with a partner, a small group, or have a whole class discussion.