H3 – Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning. This program standard emphasizes the importance implementing classroom/school centered instruction that is in direct relation with the communities within the classroom and school. More specifically, this includes the knowledge and the skills for working with others. The evidence presented is several smart board slides from a class building activity. Several times throughout the week, we try to have some sort of class building activity that places a focus on building the classroom community and various social and cooperative skills.
This evidence demonstrates several components of honoring the classroom community as a milieu for learning. First of all, one of the goals for the activity places a focus on a community skill of being able to use complete sentences while maintaining a friendly conversation. Prior to the activity, I demonstrated with a student an example of a friendly conversation and students shared what they noticed. For example, students noticed eye-contact, smiling, and not interrupting each other. In addition to this, students were able to find out more/new things about their classmates because they were given various questions to ask different students in the classroom.
This has benefitted the class in a variety of ways both academically and socially. First, students were able to practice good conversational skills while participating with various members in the class. An emphasis was placed for students to seek out individuals who they normally don’t talk with. In addition, students were given the instruction that sticks would be drawn for sharing something new they found out about any of their classmates at the end of the activity. The activity provided an academic skill of using complete sentences when asking questions and responding. Students in the class have been struggling using complete sentences and this activity helped support this skill. Likewise, the activity requires students to give their partner a high five when beginning and ending. The combination of taking turns in a friendly conversation, high fiving, and finding out new things about the class has really shown to improve the community atmosphere. Students were eager to share the new things they found out about their classmates and I even observed students who typically don’t participate, were seeking classmates to have a conversation with. Students were able to learn skills necessary for working with others. Skills such as taking turns, maintaining eye-contact, and finding a new partner all help facilitate students’ ability to work cooperatively with others.
In the future, I would like to devote a consistent weekly time for social and/or community building time. This is especially important in promoting a positive environment where students feel comfortable and work cooperatively together.