I think all teachers desire for their classrooms to be a cohesive community. I mean, why wouldn’t you want it to be? You and your students spend a LOT of time with one another, wouldn’t you want it to be a pleasant experience? Class building is the way to make it happen!
One of the BEST ways to build community in the classroom is through class building activities. I know what you’re thinking, “Yes, I do lots of class building during the first week or so of school!” That’s great, and don’t change that, but research says that teachers should plan to include at least two class building activities a week for the WHOLE school year. That’s a lot of class building.
When I first read this my mind was spinning. How in the world am I supposed to fit two class building activities into out already breakneck speed schedule? There was only one way to go, and that was to integrate our content into the class building activities, so that is exactly what I did.
At first, it seemed daunting, and as though it was going to take a ton of prep, but then we got into a rhythm, that honestly required NO extra work on my part, but had my students doing the three essential things that class building requires.
1. They were up and moving.
2. They were working with many different classmates.
3. They were talking to and enjoying their classmates.
Seriously, talk about a win-win situation. After a few weeks of trial and error, here are what turned out to be our favorite class builders that easily integrate content. For a book full of ready to go content class builders check out (affiliate link) this Kagan Classbuilders book.
Find a Classmate Who
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