Below is our “friendship web” that we do the first week of school to start to build our classroom community. Before a student can throw the ball of yarn around the circle, they have to say the name of the kid they are throwing it to. I also have them say something nice about that kid. This not only helps with learning names, but also helps build self esteem. My students loved doing this! One students wrote about this activity in her Kindergarten Memories book at the end of the year; that’s how impactful this can be!Another 1st week activity is our friendship puzzles. I split the class into 2 groups and give every kid a puzzle piece to decorate. Then, they have to work as a group to put it back together. We had a kid absent so they wanted to leave 1 piece blank so that student could decorate it another day. You can find these blank puzzles on Amazon or at a teacher store.
At the beginning of the year, I go over some basic school rules. After a few weeks of school, we then revisit the rules and this time the students get to come up with the rules. Scary I know! However, they came up with SO many rules, I had to cut them off LOL! I like that their rules are in kid language. We decided as a class if we should put the rule on the poster or not. #12 says don’t lie (looks like he) Don’t you love rule #10 🙂
If you are looking for more activities to do to help build your classroom community, check out my Building a Classroom Community bundle. It’ll be a great start to your discussions on what makes a friend, how to treat a friend, and meeting new friends. Below are a few pictures of what’s included.
I don’t like to tell kids they are “bad”, so instead I say they made a poor choice. As a whole group, we sort these cards into the 2 categories. We discuss each card as to why it was a good or poor choice. Then we decide what to do if someone makes a poor choice.
Creating a family atmosphere is very important! Unfortunately sometimes our students spend more time with us, than their own family. It’s important that they feel welcome, comfortable, and loved. Grab this FREE new friend interview worksheet so your students can interview each other and get to know one another better! This will be a great ice breaker for the first week of school!
The Classroom Community bundle is also available in my TPT store.
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this post to help you better find the materials I used.
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