Deborah Stewart from Teach Preschool did a fabulous job covering Chapter 2: Building a Community of Learners in the Literacy Beginnings book study blog party.
Here are some of the things that jumped out at me in Chapter 2.
On page 31 the authors talk about the importance of “establishing routines and a predictable daily structure.” When children know what is happening in the classroom they feel safe and secure. Its simple- when students feel safe and secure they learn more. Think of it like this, where will you learn more, reading a textbook on the subway or in your nice comfy living room sitting in your favorite chair?
One of the ways I help children understand our daily routine is by providing a picture schedule (see picture above). I use a clothespin to indicate our current activity and each time we transition I sing a little song as a helper moves the clip to the next activity. I start this on the first day of school and continue it to the very last day. The picture schedule chart helps make our transitions quick and smooth and allows us more time for the “fun stuff”.
Another way I try to foster a sense of community and belonging is to use pictures of the students around the room. Above you can see an example of a student name card with a picture. Each student has his or her name and picture in several locations around the classroom.
- Attendance Chart
- Helper Chart
- Name Wall (or Word Wall depending on your program)
- Writing Center
Not only do the names and pictures serve as a means of fostering community but they also have great educational value – nothing is more meaningful to a child than his own name! Here’s the info about the fonts I use for my name cards in case you were wondering.
Stay tuned for Chapter 3: Promoting Constructive Learning: Engaging Children in Inquiry from Scott at Brick by Brick!
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