“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
– Romans 3:5 KJV
Many school districts across the country have already begun their school year or will in the next couple of weeks. Whether we are teaching virtually or in person, making personal connections with our students in the first 3-4 weeks of school should be top priority. We as educators need to ensure that these students are welcomed, safe, and cared for each and every day.
In a typical school year, we would most likely have some activities build into our school day to get to know more about each other in our classroom community. With many precautions in place and with some students going virtual for at least a portion of the school year, we need to get creative on how we establish those meaningful relationships.
Today, we are going to look at a few ways in which we can strengthen our classroom community while also follow the guidelines that are in place for schools.
Activities to Build Relationships in Your Classroom
- How are you today Emoji!– Students can use a piece of paper to draw an emoji of how they are doing today. You could have some examples on the board up in front to help give them some ideas.
- Show and tell– Bring back this favorite as students can bring in a picture or an item from home to tell about an experience that they had over the summer
- Get everyone up and moving– let the students know when you play music, that they need to get up and move around by their desk, jump around or dance! This could be a great 30 second break
- Create a classroom story– The teacher starts with “Once upon a time…” and go up and down the classroom and students add to the story. Teachers write down or type out the story for the class. Read it out loud for some laughs at the end!
Virtual Activities to Build Relationships- Can be done in the classroom or completely virtual
- Create a collage of pictures that represent you!– There are many different platforms out there to do this such as Jamboard, but even a simple document would do just fine. Students select 5-10 pictures either from their own experiences or off of the web. Students present these to the class either in person or they could use Flipgrid or Loom to present.
- Interview a friend– Students can socially distant or virtually interview a friend. The students ask 5-10 questions to get to know them better. The students then introduce the friend they interviewed to the class.
- 2 truths and a lie- This is a fun game in which students have to think of 2 truths about themselves and one lie. Other students need to try and guess what the truths and lies are. A great game to learn new things about each other.
- Virtual trivia- Using Google Slides or other platform, create some trivia questions for your students about yourself, grade level expectations, possible activities you will be doing together this year, silly questions, sports questions, etc.
Let’s Do This!
Students, no matter if they are going completely virtual, hybrid, or in person this school year, need their teachers more than ever. Let’s start the year off on a positive note by getting to know each other, having some fun, and creating a safe place to learn. Let’s remember to give students, families, and each other grace this year as we all are in this together. Have a great first few weeks of school!