Although I've seen class meetings used very effectively in elementary intermediate grades it is just as effective in the primary grades. For younger children it is a great way to either begin your week or end you week, but it always should be scheduled on the same day and time each week as students like to follow a routine. Your 15 to 20 minutes a week on a class meeting will go a long way in creating a warm and caring class climate for the whole school year.
Here are some good rules for class meetings:
- Respect for everyone
- Put ups- (no put-downs)
- Be a good listener
- Student's right to pass when it is their turn
There are always students in your class who do all the talking and those that don't talk at all. It may take a few times to practice this technique but they catch on really quickly and really think it's fun. Give each student a talking chip. They can only use their chip one time during the meeting. After starting the meeting with a prompt for everyone to share, pick a student to begin. Once they have finished talking, they put their chip in the middle of the circle. Students are not allowed to talk if they don't have a Talking Chip. It is a fun way to teach and practice good listening skills. Here are a few ideas for prompts for the primary grades:
- Say something nice about someone in our class.
- One thing I like about our class is.......
- My favorite activity was.......................
- Something nice that happened to me was...............
- Something I am good at is........................
I have some fun Back to School Activity Packets for both K-1 and 2-5 with lots of activities for the 1st weeks of school to help create a caring classroom. Just click on either grade level to see all the activities in each packet. (download the Preview file)
I just uploaded this Free "Getting Along at School" Poem and Writing Activities Packet which you can download by clicking on the image below. Don't forget to leave feedback. Thank you.
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What do you do to create a sense of community in your classroom?