Hey Everyone! This is Anna from Crazy for First Grade! I've loved reading all of the awesome classroom community ideas this week! *Finally* I made it over here to share a lil' bit about class meetings with y'all!
I try to have 2-3 meetings a week with my students. They typically last 20-30 minutes depending on the agenda! It's a time for us to all sit down and give compliments, share feelings, listen, admit mistakes, celebrate mistakes, problem solve, discuss class goals, etc.
At the beginning of a class meeting, we give compliments. This would go great with the bucket filler program! I pass around a talking stick to give all students a chance share while others listen, but it's always OK for a child to pass. Then we discuss problems we're facing at school with one another. This is also a time for us to follow up on prior problems/solutions. The next thing we do is look at items on the agenda. These are things like class goals, celebrations, upcoming events, etc.
I just love this time with my kiddos and hope that you will try it with yours. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I also recommend reading Positive Discipline in the Classroom! It's covered with info about class meetings and building a community throughout the school year.
I also want to share a quick activity that I did with my students to help them understand the importance of thinking before they speak & being respectful to one another. This is similiar to the idea Deanna posted on Sunday!
I started the activity by introducing my students to Sam! I explained to them that he is a first grader that goes to a different school and he isn't very well liked by his classmates.
I asked the students to think of comments they might hear that would hurt Sam's feelings. I had one precious child ask me, "Is it OK for me to say something mean?"...lol. As the kiddos shared examples, they crumbled a section of Sam.
We continued this until Sam was one serious crumbled up mess! He even suffered a few rips and tears throught the process :( Poor baby!
Then we discussed how bad Sam was feeling and how they would feel from the hurtful comments. I asked the students to share things they could say to Sam so he would KNOW he was important and that we respected him. With each example, I had the students help me smooth out the paper, but....
we discovered that the hurtful comments made Sam different now. No matter how hard we tried (and we tried really hard) to take back the hurtful comments and say that we were sorry, the comments still hurt Sam.
This is a simple yet powerful way to teach your students to be sure that their comments to others are respectful at all times. Sam is a part of our classroom now and will serve as a constant reminder to us that we will always think before we speak.