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Posts from the ‘Building Community’ Category

Building Community in a Bigger Space – The Library

*** This week we decided go back to archives and reshare this wonderful post by librarian Chris Kehan, which originally appeared on our blog two years ago. Below, Chris shares how community is something that can be nurtured and grow beyond the classroom walls―and especially how our libraries can be at the center of that growth.

By Chris Kehan

For the past four years, setting up my classroom has been different than it was for the previous nineteen years.  Having taught in the regular education classroom for those nineteen years, I made the leap into library media specialist.  While I still see myself as a classroom teacher, my classroom just grew in size and so did my number of students.  Creating a space where students, teachers, and parents feel welcome and safe to take risks is extremely important for librarians.  Most libraries are situated in the center of the school; hence it’s the hub of activity.  “Entrance through our doors admits one to infinite worlds, magical kingdoms, and the treasure trove of knowledge created by our world’s best thinkers, artists, and scientists.” (Grimes, 2006) Read more

Welcome Students on the First Day, Every Day (Guest Post)

By Diane Dougherty

Welcome Students!

How often have we seen this greeting posted on billboards in front of schools?  How often have we ourselves posted such a greeting in our very own classrooms?  And a fine greeting it is too!  We want our students to feel “welcome,” to know that each one is a part of the larger community of learners, to experience the warmth that comes from a sense of belonging; in short to feel gladly received into our classrooms, our “home away from home.”

When we invite guests into our homes, what do we do to ensure that they know they are welcome?  Can we apply some of the rules of being a good host/hostess to our beginning of the year (and, really, throughout the year) relationships with our students.  As one can find everything online, I googled “How to be a Good Host” and was hardly surprised by the multiple sites available on that topic.  Here are ten of these rules from various sites (listed in bold and in italics) that I believe transfer particularly well to the classroom:  Read more

From the Classroom: Three Things to do in the First 48 Hours

By Tricia Ebarvia

Glance at almost any education focused website, blog, or Twitter feed in mid-August and you’ll find no shortage of first-day-of-school activities. In one of my education-related Facebook groups, someone recently asked for suggestions on how to spend the first day in class. Others asked about how much time to spend on community building activities versus how soon to jump into the curriculum. Not surprisingly, opinions varied, as they should.

As for me, I’ve spent less time reviewing the syllabus each year and more time on doing things that will get us reading, writing, and talking more quickly. My goals for the first two few days of school, then, include the following:

  1. Give students a general overview of the course
  2. Set up the classroom environment
  3. Learn about student preferences and interests

Read more

Why Face to Face Still Matters: Guest Post by Cindy Minnich

We are thrilled to have Cindy Minnich here this week at pawlpblog.org as our Guest Blogger. Cindy is a high school English teacher and a regular contributor to The Nerdy Book Club website. Below, Cindy shares her reflections after attending nErDCamp this summer in Michigan.


 

nerdcampiIt’s bright and early on the morning after two days of learning with friends and colleagues and rock star authors at nErDcamp MI in Parma, Michigan.

I’m packing and looking at a really long drive home.

I’m not complaining. It was worth every single mile I put on the odometer. Read more

From the Classroom: One Poem, One School

By Tricia Ebarvia

Every year as April approaches, my colleagues and I gather together to make a decision. What poem will we choose to celebrate National Poetry Month this year?

For the last nine years, students at Conestoga High School have marked National Poetry Month with a celebration known as “One Poem, One ‘Stoga.” Each April, every English class takes a break from its regularly scheduled programming to study one poem together. That means that more than 2,000 students, from 14-year-old freshmen to 18-year-old seniors, read the same poem. It’s one of the few shared experiences students have that transcends age, grade, and academic level. Read more

World Read Aloud Day

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How are you celebrating world read aloud day today?

In case you missed it, don’t forget to read Lynne Dorfman’s post on the benefits of reading aloud.