Building Community in Your Classroom
How Can You Close the School Year? (From Facing History and Ourselves)
This Teaching Idea contains six activities that can help students share their reflections on the past school year, celebrate their school community, and look ahead to what comes next. Each activity can be used on its own, so you can choose any combination that will work well for your class.
Student Journaling During Coronavirus (From Facing History and Ourselves)
Journaling can provide students with a safe, accessible space to share their thoughts, feelings, and uncertainties. This resource is designed to help both teachers who are setting up student journals for the first time as well as those who have already established practices around journaling in their classrooms. It contains journal prompts you can use with your students, which guide them to reflect on their own identities, experiences, and communities.
Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter? (From Facing History and Ourselves)
We may be able to share our views easily with those who agree with us, but how do we express our opinion while leaving room for someone else’s viewpoint? How can we seek out or listen to those who hold different beliefs from our own? The ideas and tools in this guide are designed to help you prepare your students to engage in conversations that are emotionally engaging, intellectually challenging, and relevant to their own lives.
Back-to-School Toolkit (From Facing History and Ourselves)
As you look ahead to next school year, you can use this one-week unit to help plan your teaching in the opening days of the school year and to develop students' social-emotional skills in order to engage in an open and supportive classroom community. These first class periods are important to establish classroom norms and an inclusive environment where students honor and value differing perspectives, question assumptions, and actively listen to others. While the final activity is specific to US-history courses, the first four lessons can be used in any classroom.
- This school year, when have you observed students to be most motivated in your classroom?
- How might your students’ identities and life experiences have shaped their encounter with the materials you taught this year?
- What can you plan to do at the start of next school year to build community in your classroom?