Heading into the school year, teachers everywhere are thinking about how to build and support classroom culture from day one. Caitlin and Jessica are responding with 3 great activities that teachers can use to start off the school year with an environment that is safe, kind, and productive.
We can’t get our students to the top without a strong foundation to support them, and that is just what these 3 activities will help you build. From setting expectations to building connections, Caitlin and Jessica will give you some fun ideas for creating and maintaining a strong classroom culture.
So take a listen to learn how to create a classroom contract with students, use your daily attendance routine to bond as a class, and help your students develop their collaboration skills with an engaging game. This episode is guaranteed to inspire you as you head into a fresh new school year!
Tune in now to hear:
- [01:00] Caitlin talks about the possibilities of a new school year and the importance of building an inclusive team community in the classroom.
- [02:10] Caitlin talks about how a strong, safe community helps students academically, too.
- [02:50] A note to listeners: as Caitlin and Jessica explain these activities, note that they are not “one and done” activities! They are meant to be revisited throughout the year to keep the classroom culture healthy.
- [03:40] Activity #1: Create a class contract for the year. Jessica walks listeners through the steps that teachers can take to create an effective contract together with their students. This activity begins with an individual reflection before moving to a small group discussion and then a whole-class drafting of the contract.
- [05:50] Jessica shares what some items on this contract can look like.
- [07:00] Jessica reminds listeners of the importance of returning to the contract throughout the year.
- [07:30] Activity #2: Take attendance! Caitlin shares a fun attendance-taking method that includes quick questions for students. These questions can be totally random, or they can relate to the school or to the class’s units. If you are an EB Teacher’s Club member, you can find 180 attendance questions in our July 2022 issue.
- [10:20] Caitlin reminds teachers to share each day’s attendance question on the board, so students can reflect on it before responding. You may also want to change your attendance order from time to time, so the same student doesn’t always have to go first.
- [11:40] Activity #3: Play Hot Cocoa River with students. Jessica shares the steps of preparing and implementing this team-building game. The objective? To strategically use marshmallows to cross a river of steaming hot cocoa! Students complete a reflection afterward, thinking about how they used collaboration and cooperation to achieve their goal.
- [18:00] If you’re not an EB Teacher’s Club teacher yet and would like to join us, add your name to our priority waitlist here. We’d love to have you and will let you know when we’re opening up again to new teachers!
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