We've all heard the adage "first impressions are the most lasting." As your students return from summer vacation, what first impressions will they have on their first day in your classroom? What lasting impressions will "set the tone" for the remainder of the semester or school year?
Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves has shared their favorite community-building activity. Here is our final activity - rounding out our set of four!
One of my favorite go-to activities is “Human Bingo.” It takes a little work on the front end but provides a great platform for a group to learn more about one another in a guided, fun way.
Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves will share their favorite community-building activity. Here is activity #3 of 4.
Listening Is An Act of Love, produced by StoryCorps, is a film I've enjoyed as a way to highlight the power of storytelling to build community.
Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves will share their favorite community-building activity. Here is post #2 of 4.
To Look At Me You Wouldn't Know...."
I absolutely love this simple yet powerful strategy to help build classroom community by breaking down students' assumptions and stereotypes about others.
Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves will share their favorite community-building activity. Just in time for back-to-school!
My go-to strategy is called “Circle in a Circle.”
This strategy can be used not only to “break the ice,” but also throughout the year to review ideas, make connections, unpack or extend information, prepare for writing, and more. It gets students up out of their seats and talking. The process is simple enough for students to learn, and can then be varied for effectiveness based on which questions you ask students to discuss.
This month Facing History is the featured partner on Connected Learning TV for the series, Creating Upstanders in Today's World. We are publishing the recorded webinars here with additional resources.
Our first webinar focused on Creating a Safe and Reflective Classroom.
The purpose of education is to cultivate thoughtful, informed, competent, creative, and compassionate students, who, filled with a sense of wonder and an appreciation of life in all its diversity, see themselves as active participants in creating a more just society."
- Doc Miller, Facing History and Ourselves
Doc and LA educator Stephanie Carrillo shared their experience and practical strategies for creating a safe, reflective, classroom community which forms the foundation for students to develop a sense of agency in the world. Doc has identified these as:
- Mutual Respect
- Culture of Questioning
- Student to Student Discussions
- Connecting Content to Students’ Lives and to the World Today
- Allowing for a Variety of Ways for Students to Express and Enrich Their Learning
- Creating Space for Diverse Viewpoints
- How do you create a school culture that reads together, ponders big ideas, has a common language, and stands up for each other?
- What does it mean for civic participation that our students are now "digital natives"?
- How can teachers implement curriculum that is both rigorous and meaningful? ...that engages students in thinking about critical moments in history and their personal choices?
2014 has been a great year for our blog, and we appreciate all of the writers, guests, commentors, partners, and inspiration that has been part of Learn+Teach+Share! So a big "THANK YOU" for being part of this community, with a snapshot of the top posts this year - as evidenced by page views and comments.
On October 11, 2014 at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools Campus, more than 15 schools and upwards of 120 students, teachers, parents, and administrators took the time on a Saturday to come together with one common goal: Strengthening school community.
Facing History Los Angeles hosted our 3rd Annual Los Angeles Partnership School Summit on School Culture. In our first year of this summit, we featured the film BULLY and looked at how small steps can make a difference for peers confronting bullying on campus. Last year we considered a short animated film from StoryCorps, Listening Is An Act of Love, to grow beyond just stopping bullying and consider how to build a positive school culture by small acts of compassion. This year, we continued to explore ways to build a stronger community by considering the steps of an "upstander."
No matter how long I've been in teaching, there's always this to look forward to with the start of the school year: the promise of a new beginning. After spending a year outside of the classroom, I'll be returning to teaching at a different school this fall and I'm excited to re-establish the pattern of rewarding teacher-student relationships that I've built over two decades. At the start of the school year, whether the students know me or not, the classroom dynamics have not been set and the patterns of interaction are yet to be established. I am given anew the chance to create the classroom environment which will both nurture and challenge my students. I can intentionally and purposely create a safe space where every person is allowed to bring his or her authentic self to the classroom and express the thoughts and opinions that he or she holds. How do I do that? Well...