A positive classroom group improves academicperformance, and creates a safe, caring communitythat decreases racism, harassment and stereotyping.
When students have positive relationships with their peers academicachievement is enhanced and students are more willing to take risksin mastering new skills.Group Stages• Dependency – teacher as authority figure• Inclusion – members are concerned about belonging• Dissatisfaction/Control – students will comfortable challengingdynamics• Resolution/Norming – students listen to one another and begin towork collaboratively• Production – student production increases and the teacher becomesmore of a reflective practitioner• Termination/Adjournment – students need closure and mayexperience a sense of loss and sadness
Students sitting in a classroom of unfamiliar faces need a familiar environment. The followingare peer-acquaintance activities:1. The Name Chain – Students sit in a circle and are each asked to say his name and tell one thing about himself.2. Know Your Classmates – Find a person in class that fits the description listed on a sheet (page 107).3. Bingo – Have students complete an information sheet and then use it to develop a bingo grid. Give each student a bingo card and ask each to walk around the room and get a signature for each square.4. Interviews – A set list of questions is developed and students are asked to interview another person in the classroom. The students then introduce the person each interviewed.5. Guess Who? – Ask the students to write a few statements about themselves, collect the statements and as you read each ask students to write the name of the student described.6. Who Are We? – Students are given index cards and asked to answer questions pertaining to himself (page 109). The teacher hangs the cards and asks students to guess who is represented by each card.7. T-Shirt – Ask students to design a t-shirt that would help others to know them better.8. Blue Ribbon Kid - The student draws a “paper doll” image of himself at home and then collect artifacts that represents him. The students brings all in the next day and uses these materials to describe himself to the class.9. Shoe Box or Paper Bag – Students draw pictures of themselves on butcher paper covered shoe boxes and then places items in the boxes to represent themselves. Each day a select number of students share their boxes with the class. Are there any “get to know” activities that have been successful in your class?
Elementary Classrooms1. Classroom Arrangements2. Class Spirit3. Class Pet4. Class History (or yearbook)5. Photo Album (pics throughout the year)6. Opening and Closing Questions (opening and closing issues)7. Special Days (clothing, themes)8. Service Projects
Secondary Classrooms1. Five Square2. Group Contributions3. Tower Building4. Paraphrasing Passport5. Group Decision Making6. Using Base Groups
1. Good Deeds Tree2. Compliment Chart and Books3. Wanted Posters4. Warm Fuzzies5. Valentine Booklets6. Secret-Pal Books7. I-Booklet8. Positive Bombardment9. Student Directory10.Social Skills Training Program
Activities for improving the climate of the school as a whole are foundon pages 125 – 130.Programs effective in minimizing bullying (Kauffman, 1997) have:• A positive environment in which limits are set• Nonphysical sanctions• Monitoring of student activities• Adult mediation when inappropriate behavior is observed• Discussion of the issue of bullying with all involved – bullies, victims,parents and other students
Helping Students Creating a Cohesive, Creating DiverseBecome Acquainted Supportive Group Linking PatternsDirections: Develop a positive peer relationships chart. For eachheading write at least five activities you can use to accomplish thegoal.
Jones, V. and Jones, L. (2010). Comprehensive Classroom Management (Ninth Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. (ISBN:9780205625482).