Friday, September 13, 2013

A Classroom Community & Craft!

How are your new students all getting along? Are you all still getting to know one another? One new idea I tried this week was having my students agree upon a class mascot as part of our beginning of the year relationship building activities. I wanted to foster that sense of teamwork and shared identity and thought that using a class mascot would help my kids understand that.


Yes, we are the cheetahs of 1L! Here's how we made our cheetahs out of good old paper plates and construction paper. Not a crafty teacher?? Don't worry; this craft was super easy and didn't require mush preparation or many supplies!


The first day I had everyone paint their plate and construction paper with the cheetah color I mixed. I let them dry and then flattened the paper pieces under a stack of books.


I realized that using black sharpies would be MUCH easier than black paint, so I modeled how to draw the face, and talked about its shapes; the eyes are like ovals, the nose is like an upside down triangle, etc. 


The last step was tracing, cutting and taping (no messy glue, thanks!) the ears to the back of the plate...and VOILA! A pack of cute cheetahs! I love how different each one looks- unique like each child.

My first grade team started our year with a social studies-based unit of inquiry into "communities". Our focus has been on how our classroom functions as a community. It's had a great flow because we are naturally discussing rules, responsibilities and expectations. Two important concepts that have been part of our learning are roles and responsibilities. Here's a chart summarizing the results of some of our discussions:


The next step in our inquiry is to visit other classes to find out if they too function as a community. The goal of the unit is to get students to make connections between their classroom community to larger ones, like families, neighborhoods and cities. We also want students to realize that a community is a universal concept that is in place all around the world as a way for people to organize themselves within society.

Does your classroom function as a community? How do you encourage building relationships?

Thanks for stopping by!
Signature photo ScreenShot2013-04-26at54143PM.png

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