Classrooms like ours are bursting at the seams with children willing and eager to learn. They are continuously learning about themselves, their place within the family structure and their place within their classroom community, to name a few. Each child comes to us with a completely unique set of life circumstances, which makes each one special in a way exclusive to just them. Together, they create a collective community – and we celebrate that each and every day. One integral component to building a classroom community is validation. In other words, in order for children to thrive in a classroom community, they need to be celebrated for who they are and what they bring to the community. Building relationships plays a key role in helping each child feel valued, important and special each and every day.
This week, we worked on building and reinforcing our wonderful classroom communities. We started with discussions about how to treat each other with loving kindness, and sprinkled that with mini-lessons about getting along well with our peers. But no lessons are complete without engaged learning, and we had that in spades! Our children made friendship trees, friendship necklaces out of Fruit Loops (yum!) and cultivated the “roots” and the “fruits” of long lasting friendships. We also harnessed the boundless energy of our students by incorporating sports into the mix. Lastly, we incorporated graphs and charts to learn more about what each other’s preferences and “likes” are – a fun visual representation that we have a lot in common!