I know that many of you have already begun your summer vacation while others are enjoying the last days of this school year with your students. If you are like me, it's never too early to start reflecting on this school year and beginning to plan ahead for next school year. That's why I have joined together with other members of The Literary League in a Looking Ahead Blog Hop! This is a great way to get Back-to-School tips from some amazing Teacher Authors.
While we all know that there is a push to begin classroom instruction on Day 1, it is essential to build a sense of community with your students to create a positive and effective classroom learning environment. This is not something that will be developed after a five minute icebreaker with students. One activity that I always complete with my students to allow them to be an active part of this process is a consensus map activity where students decide what they need to be successful in our classroom this school year. After students have worked in groups to complete this, groups are responsible for sharing out their ideas and agreeing on what information we should include on our class anchor charts. The class anchor charts are always displayed in our classroom so that we can refer back to the agreement that we created together.
In addition to having your students be active members of creating your classroom learning environment, it is also a necessity to get to know your students to build a relationship with them. One way that I do this is to have my students complete the All About Me: Letter to My Teacher Writing Activity.
Students go through the writing process to tell me what they think I need to know about them. Not only is this a great way to get students to open up, but I also use it as a writing pre-assessment to gauge my students' writing skills. You can click here to purchase this product from my store!