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Posts tagged ‘classroom community’

Together we Stand

Every year, building our classroom community is one of my ultimate favorite things to do! I love it because I feel we begin to build our “family.”  We learn how we can work together as a team, support each other, and be the best we can be!  Every year our classroom community looks different.  We have a basic foundation to our framework but each year the children lead us.

This year, I decided to use the book The Peaceful Classroom: 162 Easy Activities to Teach Preschoolers Compassion and Cooperation By Charles A. Smith, PhD as a supplement to my teaching.  This book offers activities to build and then support the classroom “family.”  One of our favorite songs from the book so far is below. We are currently using this song to  start our group.  In the book the rhyme goes as follows:

Hands together, make a group

Hands together, make a group

All together, here we stand

This is our group, so lend a hand

After trying to follow the lyrics, the children condensed it and made it their own by chanting:

Together we stand and we lend a hand!

A few days ago, I forgot to begin group this way.  I was quickly reminded it was time to link hands and chant.  When a friend had to get up to wipe his nose and wash his hands, we all waited to make sure he was a part of the song.

Teachers: What is something you do to build classroom community?

Families: What is a ritual from your family?

Building our family

As we begin to build our new classroom family, we begin by getting to know each other. We share our photo books (each child is given one at a home visit prior to them starting in our classroom), talk about our families, compare our likes and dislikes, and talk about how we can create this bond. Yesterday, we talked about ways to care for each other. The children created a list of ways that showed caring towards each other.

At nap, I heard a voice saying, “We are a Leapfrog family here. So I am saying Good Night. I love you and I will rub your back until the lights go out.”


Community Building

This time of year is always sad for us as we are saying goodbye to our kindergartners (several of them whom we have had for two to three years or had their families for years!). We have built such strong relationships with those families and children we feel as if we are losing a part of our family. This year is especially sad as our assistant of five years left our program to pursue her degree. Although we wish her well and are thrilled to have the newest addition, Christy, in our classroom, we are all dealing with several transitions and our emotions are high.

As all of us are going through the many transitions that this time of year brings, we are beginning to reinvent our classroom community. We will continue to do this over the course of the next few months as we bring in new faces, families, and friends into our room. Today, as a classroom community builder, we worked together to solve the problem of the Human Knot. In the Human Knot, children are to cross their hands in front of them and hold their peer’s hands and try to get out of the “knot” by not dropping their peers hands.

Several children were able to master this task quickly and decided that the fewer children that play the easier it is to get out. So far, the children have been able to make it out of the “knot” with seven children. We will continue adding on as the children are interested.


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