Saturday, July 27, 2013

Community Building

It amazes me that in the mist of budget cuts, common core, testing and increased accountability, good teachers continue to build community in our rooms and teach with rigor.

Creating a classroom community is my number one priority beginning on the first day of school.  Children need to feel love, accepted and safe everyday at school.  Until last year, I had an internal struggle with a class behavior system.  I had used a clip chart and colored cards in the past, but knew in my heart they were not for me.  (**There are things I likes and dislike about them and there are children who benefit from them; it was a personal choice.)

Then I read A Teeny Tiny Teacher's post about Gold Tags.  This is the most amazing, simplest classroom behavior management system I have found:)  I love it because anyone can easily adapt it and make it their own.   In a nutshell, students can earn gold tags and even lose them (GASP!) for good and bad choices, work, quiet line and the list goes on.  The one thing that stayed with me as a teacher and a parent was when a mom said to me it was so nice not to see a red box colored in daily for her child's "bad" behavior.  She said she knows her child was "challenging", and they are working on that, but there are lots of good qualities that she has felt in the past were overlooked.

Kristen has them trade their gold tags in on Friday for centers.  I am using Our Best Behavior Prize Pass Catalog from First Grade Fever.  This is a FREEBIE folks so head on over to her blog and check it out!!

My favorite community building activities this summer are from Michelle at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera.  I {heart} her Happy Notes!  You can check them out on TpT HERE.

My second love  slight obsession is Michelle's Behavior Beads.  They can be used for good behavior, homework, reading incentives, math facts and the list goes on!  I have to say my new favorite is her Primary Beads.  You should head over to her store and check out all the different sets.

So what are you doing to build kids up?  I would love to hear about it:)


  1. I love this post! Thanks for the great links to some awesome ideas!

    Friendly Froggies

  2. Thanks for the awesome ideas! I've done clip charts in the past, but Class Dojo seems to work best for me. I don't use it every day and I try to not focus on one child's behavior as much as keeping the focus on how well we worked as a class and how many green points we collected!
    Owl Things First