I teach at a smaller private school, so the majority of the kids that enter my classroom were in the same classroom as third graders. Even though the kids know each other, we still work to create a classroom community. There are always new kids that join the group as fourth graders so I like to do some fun, collaborative writing activities to get them comfortable with sharing their writing. One resource that I like to use to do this is Rory's Story Cubes.
I love doing this because it teaches kids to listen to each other and to build their ideas off their classmates ideas. The stories are verbal, so students who struggle with the actually act of writing are able to do this without a problem. The stories are always silly, which means lots of laughter.
What activities do you use to build a classroom community at the start of a year?
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