This bundle serves as a toolkit for both building classroom community and developing classroom rules.
To see individual listings for each of the items in the bundle, use the following links:
Building Classroom Community
Classroom Rules Pack
About the Classroom Community Pack
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!
About the Classroom Rules Pack
From my experience in the classroom, I have learned that classroom environments function most effectively when students are given opportunities to engage in the creation of classroom rules and expectations. When students have a sense of ownership in shaping their classroom community, they tend to be more invested in ensuring that they live up to class-wide expectations.
This pack includes three components to get your students thinking about how home rules are sometimes different than school rules. The activities, when used in the progression outlined below, will help students be able to consider the reasons for rules and will also help give them a sense of ownership in the development of classroom rules.
“The Rules at My Home” Homework Assignment: In this homework assignment, students and their parents engage in a conversation about the rules at their homes and the reasons behind them. The ready-to-print homework sheet includes a description of the assignment for parents and space for students to record the rules of their household.
School Rules and Home Rules Venn Diagram: This Venn Diagram helps students to think about how home rules and school rules are the same and different. Students could work on this Venn Diagram independently, in small groups, or in a whole class setting.
Rule Proposal Form: The “Rule Proposal Form” gives students an opportunity to suggest, explain, and defend a rule that they think should be implemented in the classroom. Proposed rules can then be discussed, debated, and approved during a class meeting.