We had a chance to see our students in action today, expressing (to the class as a whole and to one another in small groups) their vision of belonging in the classroom. What does "the best classroom in the world" look like; feel like; sound like?" Some responses...."quiet; happy faces; being friends; playing; building robots (from a student who loves to think out of the box!); colourful; learning together..." Using the Smart Board, the classroom teacher recorded the responses. I spent time observing students who will we track using the Social Responsibility Performance Standards.
The classroom teacher and I then modelled a role-playing scenario to show what our "best" classroom would be (using kind words; learning together). Students were able to identify specific examples of how we were showing these attributes and we talked about how we felt inside when we used kind words and cooperated while we were learning (our example was sharing ideas about a book we were reading together and respecting the ideas of the other person).
Later, students role-played scenarios to demonstrate their ideas of the best classroom in the world. I spent time with a group of three to elicit further discussion. One student was an eager member of the group, and I noticed that he felt safe sharing his feelings about what it means to belong - he talked about how he has experienced times when he felt left out and that if people felt this way in our classroom, it would make it hard to learn. I took some photos of this activity but now wish that I had taken video! It would be interesting to see students taking video of one another acting out these scenes...something for down the road.
Courtesy of Primary Resource Teacher Kathryn Golbeck