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The beginning of the school year is always an important time to create an environment of support and respect. The classroom becomes a loving, learning community of its own.
In between reviewing expectations and ice-breaking games, I make time to delve into our classroom library books. Showing the urgency to connect with reading and books, is one of the most important steps of having a successful learning community.
I am currently reading Nonfiction Mentor Texts by Dorfman, as well as her Mentor Texts book on Literature. There are some great ideas, on teaching Writing through reading, in there if you are looking for some inspiration.
As for games that open the doorway to beginning to know the children, we play Community Bingo.
The one that I created has characteristics like "I know how to roller skate" and "I am an only child". It is played like any Bingo...the caller (teacher) calls out the choices, and the students simply cross out the square that is true for them.
Then, on another paper, the information is listed so students can ask peers what they marked off on their Bingo game. The kids will learn one another's name and make connections.
Usually, teachers will open the year with All About Me projects, and Personal narratives. I do that too.
I also have students really think about themselves, and build a poem in the I Am format.
I love this poem. We have even written this poem from the pespective of famous women...they turn out awesome!
Although I just completed my school year July 19th, I am anxiously planning the community building part of our week.
If you are interested in the Community Bingo and Poem ideas, you are welcome to follow the link below.
Teacher (Manuela) Ippolito