Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Teacher Talk Tuesdays

New classes can be a challenge.  There are kids who are already friends, but there are also kids who don't know anyone.  Everyone is just a little unsure (including the teacher). It's important to start building classroom community right away. Building classroom community is the topic for this week's Teacher Talk Tuesdays, hosted by Lisa at Second Grade Stories.  I'm sharing a few ways I start to get kids to connect from day one. 

I use stories to introduce what caring looks like and sounds like. A caring group of kids is needed in order to have a community of learners who are willing to take risks academically and socially. I have a few favorites! I've shared about some of these titles before and shared related resources and activities. Click here to go to that post. 

Partner Activities
Simple, fun games are a non-threatening way for students to focus on spending time with one another. I've used academic games, but I've used non-academic activities too.  The idea is for children to do something fun that will keep their hands busy while they get to know each other.  

These girls were playing an addition game. It was a good first-day
choice, because I knew everyone in my class could be successful with this.
One of my favorite things to do is have students make posters for the classroom. I had no pictures, so my children created a poster together as an example!  Note the tongues sticking out in concentration  silliness!

I love to sing with my students. In Summer and Friends Give Friends a Hand are two favorites.  In Summer is one that most students already know.  Friends Give Friends a Hand is short and has a great message.  In a previous post, I shared freebie lyrics for the songs.  To set the mood during some work times, or as background music during snack, we sometimes listen to Lean on Me and the theme from Golden Girls (Thank You for Being a Friend).  Click on the images below to find the MP3s.  

In Summer

Friends Give Friends a Hand

Lean On Me
 (The version from my high school years!)

Lean On Me 
(Glee Cast Version)
Thank You for Being a Friend
(Golden Girls theme song)
Looking for new ways to build classroom community? Check out Teacher Talk Tuesday at Second Grade Stories for more ideas.  Be sure to read the comments at Second Grade Stories as well.  More ideas will be shared there!


  1. Making posters is always a hit! We usually make posters depicting the rules.

  2. Hey there! I don't know the apples book so I'm going to have to check that out. I love using songs in my room too, but you sing better than me! Thanks for linking up!