Team building all year long

This fantastic new post at Scholastic by Lindsey Petlak reminds us to keep using community building exercises, learning games, and getting-to-know you activities all year long. She provides a rationale for this work and suggests a handful of ideas that can be used in grades 3-8.

Ideas like the ones featured in this post can make classrooms feel more [read more…]

Letting students choose community

I am so glad I didn’t end this month of posts on community building without highlighting this idea from Larry Ferlazzo. Ferlazzo’s suggestion is to teach students about community, connection, and support by asking them to write about the learning environment they want in their classroom. He asks them if they want a “community of learners” or a “classroom of students” and then asks them to write their responses. Click over to Larry’s blog to read more about [read more…]

Random acts of classroom kindness

To continue with this month’s theme of community building, I am spotlighting a really powerful idea from a guest post on Minds in Bloom.

Jenny Eldridge, the teacher who designed the activity, used it at the end of the year, but it would be just as appropriate to use in September as it can serve as a way for students to collaborate, work on common goals, and identify strengths.

Many teachers use versions of random acts activities (you can check Pinterest for more ideas). I like the version used in Ms. Eldridge’s class because it was so collaborative and it encouraged students to learn from their peers. Students in the class kicked off the project by writing special notes to their family members. Then they raced to collect more acts in the last weeks of school. The goal was to collect 100 before the event ended. The acts were posted on a colorful board in the classroom, which gave students a bit of [read more…]

Let me count the ways I know you

Community building, getting-to-know-you activities, and informal conversations have to continue all year long.

Stumped on how to keep the energy up and the ideas flowing? No worries. The Pearson Online Learning Exchange is here to help with 56 [read more…]

Breaking the ice

Welcome back! We thought it was appropriate to dedicate our first day back to getting to know you ideas and building classroom community. These ideas may not directly relate to differentiation but they will help students get ready for working in a differentiated classroom. By giving learners time to get to know their future collaborative […]