Every year my goal is to create an environment in my classroom in which my students feel safe. In order to achieve this, I incorporate various class building and team building activities for my students to get to know each other as well as get to know me. I feel this is an important component to incorporate each year. I believe class building provides a positive environment for learning to occur. I feel that it is important for my students to see themselves as part of a larger, caring group.
When I think back to my freshman year of college, I didn't know a single face. I can vividly recall the uncertainty that came with that. Because of this uncertainty, I decided to join a sorority, in hope of making new friends. Not only did it help me make new friends, but it helped me feel like I was part of a group and that I belonged. This is what I want to create for my students in my classroom.
In order to develop a sense of unity in our 5th grade classrooms, we created a class banner to represent us. To do this, each student was given a square to decorate. They were told to represent themselves by including things that they loved and things that made them happy!
The students were very excited about this activity and got started right away!
Our students were so proud of their creation that we provided an opportunity for them to share with their classmates. We used a Kagan Structure called, Mix-Pair-Share, in which the students are given multiple opportunities to share with many of their classmates.
Be sure to stop by our classroom so you can see our finished banner!