Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Community Building

     In our classroom, we are part of a family. This is a motto that I tried to instill since the first day of school. When you walk through our classroom doors and into our classroom, you are part of a family. What does that mean? Well, that means that we take care of each other. We love each other. We support each other, and we even grow with each other. Like most teachers do, I always front load our first and second week of school with community building activities in efforts to instill, build, and strengthen this family bond.
     As the year progresses, we all make choices on activities that will hopefully strengthen our classroom community. This is an area that I am very passionate about. I could write about it for hours, but I will spare you that. Putting aside all of our appreciation circles, morning meetings, kudos,etc.......I like to take purposeful time during the Thanksgiving season to really show my students how much I appreciate them. Now, I will warn you.... this takes TIME! However, it is well worth it. The pay off is big. The kids can sense and see the appreciation!
     This year, students were asked to decorate a turkey feather that represented his or her family tradition for Thanksgiving. Students then brought this feather into class, and we create a whole class turkey together. During our "thankful luncheon", each student was given a turn to come up to the front of the class to share his/her turkey feather. Students were proud to share their traditions. Other students were then able to ask questions. At the end of the sharing, our turkey looked like this!

After we constructed our class turkey and ate our delicious Thanksgiving lunch together, we then were able to discuss how unique each and every one of us is, but how we come together to form an awesome family at school. This project turned out great, and it certainly served as an awesome activity to continue to enhance our classroom community.

     I also took a chunk of time at home to create these "thankful" cards for my kiddos. I just feel especially blessed this year to have such an amazing room of students. I wanted my kids to truly see how much I appreciate and value their presence in our classroom family!

What are some ways that you continue to build community in your classroom throughout the school year?