Children's Development

Creating Classroom Community

Teachers strive to create a positive and warm classroom community for all students. They know that when students feel safe and respected, they are more likely to learn. Connecting to students on a personal, social, and cultural level helps build a sense of belonging and community in the classroom. Here are 4 ideas for creating a comfortable space for sharing and bonding.

Morning Meetings build a community of kindness and trusting relationships. Welcoming the day with a meeting in a circle or U shape encourages eye contact and creates a sense of belonging.  Morning meeting can begin with a greeting, schedule review, and end with a share out. Children thrive with an expected routine. Taking turns sharing aloud permits all kids to shine and soak in the positive spotlight.

Arrange the classroom environment according to research-based layouts that promote dialogue, discourse, and connectedness. The classroom is a creative space where students feel safe and free to share ideas. Many teachers have success with creating 3 distinct areas in the classroom. These areas can be permanent or constructed as needed: a meeting place for sharing out loud ideas, a production area to create and experiment, and a quiet space to work without distractions.

Growing social emotional skills is essential for students to be available for learning. Use social emotional learning lessons to teach social skills. Role play scenarios that allow students to show caring and how to cope with hard feelings. Foster a feeling of individual importance and supports an atmosphere of respect. Establishing membership in the class provides kids with emotional safety.

Create occasions for collaboration. Assign group work and team projects that have clear and consistent expectations. Support students with affirming language and positive praise. Assure students that it’s okay to make mistakes and admit when they are wrong. Make the classroom a safe space to try something new!