Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Building Community Through Respect (Freebie)

Happy Tuesday blog world! I was so eager to get back to my kids this week. Eager to hug them and talk to them and let them know I loved them.

Coincidence or not, on Friday I pulled my kids together to talk community building and all things family. I have always been so big on building community in the classroom, whether it be through morning meetings or at random times throughout the year when I feel like my kids need it. Many of us do it those first weeks of school, but then forget about it all year long.

In retrospect, I'm so glad I did this on Friday. Who would have thought we'd have to come in on Monday with such heavy hearts. The theme behind this community building activity was respect. There really was no purpose behind it, and I didn't come to the table bringing my dog and pony show. Sometimes, the best community builders are the ones when you just get to sit and talk with your kids.

We started with this anchor chart to get the conversation started:


**Side note: I must show a close up, because one of my sweet boys insisted he do the art work. I happily obliged as I am the WORST drawer!


Isn't that the cutest?!

We talked about what respect was, and how you can show respect throughout the day. It was interesting to hear many of them and their thoughts on respect. A lot of students thought it was grouped with just being kind, but we talked about the fact that it is so much more than that. The conversations were wonderful and many students were even pulling examples from their real life.

I then handed out this page below, which you can grab for free HERE!! 


I had the students work with 1 to 2 people that they have NEVER worked with before (of course I walked around and broke up the "friends"). I encouraged groups of students that I know don't often hang out with one another.

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After students had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with their small groups and the whole class, we wrapped up the discussion by reading some short stories from Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul: 



Other books that are wonderful for teaching about respect are: 





The sweetest thing ever came when we were getting ready to go home that evening. Many of my students kindly asked for some construction paper, because they wanted to go home and decorate posters to hang throughout our school. :)




"As a teacher, there is an unspoken understanding that once those children enter my classroom, I become their 'substitute mother'. I am responsible for each child in my classroom. I push them to do their best. I encourage them to work hard. I praise them endlessly and scold them when they need it. I expect them to show their manners. I teach them how to get along with others. I give them hugs when they are hurt, when they do something I am proud of, or 'just because'." 

Her words were absolutely perfect, and I couldn't have said them any better than she did. Whether you are teaching fifth graders or first graders, we are mothers (and fathers).  Teaching our children respect is a hugely important lesson that they will hopefully carry with them for the rest of their lives.


Click HERE for more community building ideas!

Grab all of the books we used below!

                   

9 comments:

Runde's Room said...

LOVE everything about this post(especially the little artist you have in your class)!

Jen

YoungTeacherLove said...

Aww thanks Jen! He brought that poster in and I was like WOAH!! Haha! Thanks for your comment!

Mrs. Kim Ziliak said...

I love this! I am going to have to do this with my 5th graders in January! Thanks!

Kim
Literacy Sundae

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thanks so much Kim! I'm so happy you can use some of these ideas! My kids still talk about these lessons days and even weeks after we complete them.

The Wild Rumpus said...

Love this--such a great reminder that we need to focus on the kids in a different way right now.

louise zirk said...

Thanks for the respect poster. Our school has begun focusing on this aspect and this complements our activities perfectly. Thanks again.

Brenda Ellis said...

Even though I have first graders, this is a lesson that needs to be taught. Thanks for the ideas, I will take them into consideration with my lesson.

Jordon, The Messy One said...

I am often finding myself having conversations with my students about respect. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

YoungTeacherLove said...

You're welcome! I believe it's these little conversations that show BIG positive changes in the classroom all year!

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