Saturday, September 13, 2014

Building a Community in Room 208

It's September?!?! That's crazy! No. Do you know what's crazy?? My schedule these days! I'm finally blogging after almost a month of teaching. But I guess it's better late than never, right? I sure hope you agree with me. :)

The first couple of weeks in 4th grade were consumed with Room 208 desperately trying to learn what it means to be a community. Our essential questions for this time were: 1) What makes a community? and 2) What does the way I show respect say about me?

Students were involved in so many activities that required a lot of communication, collaboration, teamwork, and so many other wonderful qualities needed to succeed.

Solo Cup Pyramid
- 6 solo cups, 1 rubber band, 4 24-inch long pieces of string
- Students had to work together to make a solo cup pyramid (3 on the bottom, 2 in the middle, and 1 on top) without using their hands.

Build a Tower
- playdough, 5 straws
- Students have to build a tower using only the materials provided.

Saving Sam
- gummy worm and gummy life saver, 1 plastic cup, 4 paper clips
- Sam is the worm that has tipped over in his or her boat (plastic cup)! He or she needs to be saved and placed into the life preserver! The only thing is that the partners can only use the paper clips and must not use touch the worm or the life preserver directly!

Magic Carpet Ride
- butcher paper
- Students are on top of the butcher paper and must flip the paper over while the entire group is still standing on top of it.

- 20 spaghetti noodles, 1 yard of masking tape, 1 yard of string, 1 marshmallow
- Students have 18 minutes to plan and design the tallest freestanding structure with the marshmallow on top

The Human Tank
- blindfolds, socks
- Students are paired up and one student is blindfolded
- The student who is not blindfolded is giving his or her partner directions to find a sock and throw it at another blindfolded student

After these activities, as well as some others not mentioned in this post, students created a list of thoughts to the question, "What makes a community?" We then created this anchor chart to help remind us off what we want our learning community to be like and is hanging in our classroom (our class picture is missing from the middle):

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