This product is part of a back-to-school bundle with my Classroom Rules Pack!: Back to School Bundle
This pack contains a variety of resources designed to be used during the early days of the school year to start cultivating a positive classroom community.
Puzzle Piece Homework: In this homework assignment, students decorate a piece of a puzzle to represent themselves and to share things that are important to them. (Note: This pack includes the assignment sheet to make this a homework task – you’ll need to create your own puzzle pieces. I take a large poster board and cut it into the appropriate number of pieces so that each student has a piece – it also then fits back together perfectly!)
My Dream Classroom Activity: In this task, students draw and write about their vision of the “world’s greatest classroom.” In a follow-up discussion, students can share what components they included and think about ways that they can make the (feasible) parts of their visions a reality.
Best and Worst Classmate Activity: In this activity, students spend time thinking and writing about what makes someone a great and a bad classmate. In a discussion, students can then share their ideas about what makes someone a desirable classmate and what they will do to make sure that they work towards being a kind classmate. This activity also works well when thinking about planning rules for social conduct in the classroom or when working on setting personal goals for the year.
Best and Worst Classrooms Activity: In this activity, students use their senses to write about what the best and worst classrooms look like, smell like, sound like, and feel like. Students can then share their thoughts in a class discussion about how to make sure that the classroom resembles the best classroom, rather than the worst classroom.
What Our Class Vision Means to Me: After holding class discussions and developing a classroom vision (an articulated idea of what the classroom will be like), students can use this sheet to think about what the vision means to them personally. The follow-up discussion would show how people can interpret things in different ways and also serves as a way to create accountability amongst the students for upholding the classroom vision.
Classroom Job Application: In my own classroom, I use this job application sheet after the students and I have brainstormed what jobs students ought to be helping with in the classroom. This application provides a great opportunity for students to engage in an authentic writing exercise and is also a lot of fun!
I hope that these activities will engage your students in thinking about the kind of community they want in their classroom and also lead to discussions about how the students can work together to make their visions and wishes for their classroom community a reality.
I’d love to hear your feedback about the use of these ideas and resources in your classroom!