Image Map

Classroom Community

Hey Everyone! This is Anna from Crazy for First Grade! I've loved reading all of the awesome classroom community ideas this week! *Finally* I made it over here to share a lil' bit about class meetings with y'all!

I try to have 2-3 meetings a week with my students. They typically last 20-30 minutes depending on the agenda! It's a time for us to all sit down and give compliments, share feelings, listen, admit mistakes, celebrate mistakes, problem solve, discuss class goals, etc.

At the beginning of a class meeting, we give compliments. This would go great with the bucket filler program! I pass around a talking stick to give all students a chance share while others listen, but it's always OK for a child to pass. Then we discuss problems we're facing at school with one another. This is also a time for us to follow up on prior problems/solutions. The next thing we do is look at items on the agenda. These are things like class goals, celebrations, upcoming events, etc.

I just love this time with my kiddos and hope that you will try it with yours. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I also recommend reading Positive Discipline in the Classroom! It's covered with info about class meetings and building a community throughout the school year.

I also want to share a quick activity that I did with my students to help them understand the importance of thinking before they speak & being respectful to one another. This is similiar to the idea Deanna posted on Sunday!

I started the activity by introducing my students to Sam! I explained to them that he is a first grader that goes to a different school and he isn't very well liked by his classmates.
I asked the students to think of comments they might hear that would hurt Sam's feelings. I had one precious child ask me, "Is it OK for me to say something mean?" As the kiddos shared examples, they crumbled a section of Sam.
We continued this until Sam was one serious crumbled up mess! He even suffered a few rips and tears throught the process :(  Poor baby!
Then we discussed how bad Sam was feeling and how they would feel from the hurtful comments. I asked the students to share things they could say to Sam so he would KNOW he was important and that we respected him. With each example, I had the students help me smooth out the paper, but....
we discovered that the hurtful comments made Sam different now. No matter how hard we tried (and we tried really hard) to take back the hurtful comments and say that we were sorry, the comments still hurt  Sam.

 This is a simple yet powerful way to teach your students to be sure that their comments to others are respectful at all times. Sam is a part of our classroom now and will serve as a constant reminder to us that we will always think before we speak.


  1. Love this idea Anna! Even though we have been in school for 3 weeks, I plan on doing this next week. It's so sweet. I have read the book Mr. Peabody's Apples to the kids which talks about how hard it is to stop the spread of a rumor,and how it can hurt someone. I love this visual though!!

    Third Grade Meanderings

  2. WOW, what a powerful message! I will be doing this activity with my kids!

    Quench Your First

  3. Love, love, love this; we've done it before with a piece of aluminum foil but using a picture of a boy or girl really makes it real!


  4. I tried the classroom meetings my first year teaching third grade! I loved them, but I just haven't had the time in my schedule since then. *sigh* Such a great idea though! My kids really responded well to the talk box and the wheel of choice. =) I still use those parts.

  5. This is a very cute way to make the lesson visual for young learners. Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. This is such a wonderful idea and the book is a must read! Thank you for sharing this with us!
    Curls and a Smile

  7. Good for you! It seems that the class very much enjoyed it. I have done a similar activity each year with a large heart cut from bulletin board paper. I have the children come up and write their first name on the heart and tell all of us one thing that makes them very happy. Then we have the children say one thing that has or would hurt their feelings. As each one says one I crinkle the heart. The children are sad to see that happen... and we work to fix it as you did. We agree that it cannot be made back to way it looked at the beginning and that when we say or do meant things... they leave a lasting impression... I laminate it and hanging it in the classroom as a reminder to be thoughtful and respectful.

  8. What a great visual to help students understand the power of words.

  9. When I taught KIndergarten we did something similar with a pink construction paper heart, "The Wrinkled Heart."

  10. Thank you!! We ended up using "Sam" for our Pk-2 Assembly on Friday. It was awesome!

    One poor sweetie did take the "mean words" a little bit over the line (curse words, yikes) although it's VERY true. We don't want to say those words to others, it definitely made for an interesting discussion (and I couldn't make eye contact with any of the other teachers for a while after that for fear of laughing out loud.) None of the other students seem to notice and after a "yes, that's true, but we don't really want to go that far" all was well and the rest of the discussion was great.
    hehehehe. They always keep us on our toes.