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This heart-warming first day of school idea builds classroom community


Social Studies  


3, 4  


Title – Building our Classroom Community
By – Lorrie Soria
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – 
Grade Level – Grades 3-4

On the first day of school, I want my students to know that they are part of a classroom community. On their desks when they arrive, they find a plastic zipper bag containing several items and an index card with the significance of each of the items. The items usually include:

    a box of multi-cultural crayons, because it doesn’t matter what we look like, we are part of a set; an eraser, because it is okay to make mistakes in our classroom; a gold star, because everyone in our classroom is a star; a small kaleidoscope, because there are many different ways to see a problem and find a solution; a piece of wrapped candy, to remind us to keep our words sweet when we speak to and about our classmates; a glue stick, because as a class we need to stick together and stick up for one another; finally, because we are a Catholic school, there is a small cross or rosary to remind us of our faith.

Though many of my students ask if they can take the bags home, I encourage them to keep them in their desks until the end of school. This way, they are reminded of the values and principles we share every time they look into their desks. I am always pleasantly surprised, and quite pleased, in June when most of the kids pull out their bags to take home.

If you want to spark discussion, you could hold onto the index cards, and ask the students to share what they think the significance of each item is. Their ideas might spark some more ideas for you!

E-Mail: Lorrie Soria

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