It takes time and intentionality to build a community of learners who trust each other, respect differing perspectives, share ideas freely, and seek feedback from their peers. This session explores a variety of strategies that can be easily implemented to build this culture and community from day one.
Strategies that foster this type of connection, collaboration, and camaraderie will be discussed using examples and tips to implement in the classroom, starting with some fresh ideas for getting to know students and helping them get to know their classmates. Many of these ideas combine strategies we already know and add a collaborative and inclusive spin to them.
Allowing for multiple types of student interaction is important to ensure all voices are heard and valued, not just the loud and proud. Including time for students to process independently, in small groups, and in the large group is important to developing an inclusive community. A variety of strategies will be shared to support these levels of interaction in the classroom, making student thinking visible in individual, small group, and whole group displays.
Teachers can elevate their practices to include all students and develop a classroom culture that invites student interaction, increases student engagement, and fosters equitable experiences on a daily basis.
Beth Pesnell (Kansas State University: Manhattan, KS)