Building your classroom into a community is vital for each one of those little bodies that walk through the door. I surely do not like to be somewhere where I don’t feel comfortable, I didn’t like it as a kid and I don’t like it now. Were you ever bullied? Do you remember how it felt? On the flip side, did you ever bully someone? I still feel ill when I think of how mean I was to a girl at summer camp…I can’t forgive myself.
Get it going the first day and keep it up through out the year by supporting it with role playing, books, movies, picture prompts, charts, basically whatever you can think of that will be meaningful to your kids.
Here are some resources I use to promote a kind and safe classroom community:
- Bucket Fillers: http://www.bucketfillers101.com/
- Kagan Teambuilding: Teambuilding Ideas for the classroom
- This is a conflict management program. My school does not support this program but I have used it in the past and loved it: http://kelsoschoice.com/
- Books by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Incredible You! and Unstoppable Me!: http://www.squidoo.com/must-have-childrens-books
- Joy Berry’s Help Me Be Good book series: http://joyberrybooks.com/p.cfm?s=2&p=409
- For morning work, start the students using RAOK journals (Random Acts of Kindness). The students write about the RAOK they performed the day before. Allow students to attach a paperclip every time they do a RAOK, you will have a paperclip rope that will extend many yards by the end of the year.
- Use Pete’s PowerPoints to talk about bullying and safety: http://facs.pppst.com/bullying.html