The Best Activities To Build Classroom Community To Try Now - Love Grows Learning (2022)

There are so many wonderful activities to build classroom community, but it can be hard to know where to start! As teachers, we want to build community in the classroom from the very first day. If you’re wondering how to build classroom community or if you’re looking for some fun and engaging go-to classroom community builders, you are in the right place!

This article is all about activities to build classroom community!

In a rush? You can check out my Classroom Community Builders MEGABUNDLE on TPT right now.

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How To Build Classroom Community

There certainly isn’t one correct answer for how to build community in the classroom. But over the last 9 years of teaching, I’ve developed a way that works for me every time. When I start to think about my classroom community and the classroom culture I want to create, there are three pieces that I find to be the most important. Here’s my magic recipe if you want to learn more about how to build a classroom community:

  1. Back to School Classroom Community Builders: Use classroom community builders that help students feel seen, included, and celebrated during first few weeks.
  2. Rules and Routines for Classroom Community: The way these are established are going to have a big impact on how we build classroom community as a group.
  3. Build Classroom Community with Kindness: Having explicit discussions around treating each other with kindness is important for establishing a positive classroom community. I find it’s helpful to revisit these conversations throughout the school year.

Let’s dive into each one of these and I’ll share some specific activities to build classroom community!

Back to School Classroom Community Builders

Back to school season is the perfect opportunity to think carefully about how to build community in the classroom. Theactivities you do during the first few weeks of schoolare an important part of setting the tone and helping students feel safe and happy in their new space. Here are some of my favorite activities to build classroom community during that back to school time:

First Day Feelings

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Talking about our feelings on the first day of school can be especially helpful to start building classroom community. Starting a new school year is a lot to process! It’s always a good idea to have some first day of school activities that help students feel safe in their new classroom environment.

On an anchor chart, write or draw some different feeling emojis (happy, nervous, excited, sad, etc.). Lead your class in a discussion about how feelings are normal and everyone’s feelings are different. (“First Day Jitters”and“A Tiger Tail”are two great book choices to read with this activity)

Give every student a sticky note to write their name and let them put the sticky note on the anchor chart next to the feeling that they most identify with.

Heart Maps

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Creating heart maps is another activity to build classroom community at the beginning of the year. Share with your class some things that are important to you in your life and add them to your heart map. Then have each student create their own heart map filled with the things that are most important to them. Displaying these can help students get to know each other, and it can help you learn about the passions and interests of your students.

Friend Scavenger Hunt

Make a checklist for students that includes items like “A classmate who has two younger siblings” or “Someone who has the same favorite color as you” or “Someone who went to a different school for kindergarten than you”.

Students then go around the classroom trying to find a student’s name to write next to every item on the list. This gets them walking around, meeting new people, and talking to each other! This is definitely one of my favorite activities to build classroom community!

You can snag this Find a Friend Scavenger Hunt for free right here!

Your Name Is A Song

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Celebrating names is a wonderful way to help students get to know each other at the beginning of the year. Also, it provides an opportunity to promote inclusiveness and respect between students from different cultures. Reading the book“Your Name Is A Song”is one of my favorite activities to build classroom community. I love this anchor chart that goes with it!

Reach for the Stars

If you are looking for a gorgeous bulletin board for the first week of school, look no further! This display celebrates the goals that students have, and helps establish a community of learners.

These resources and more are available as printables in myFirst Week of School Activity Bundle.

Rules and Routines for Classroom Community

Establishing your classroom routines and rulesis a key part of building classroom community. Every classroom needs routines and procedures to create a structure that children can learn and participate in. And of course, teaching classroom rules is a huge part of classroom management. Classroom rules help children feel safe. Therefore, introducing them thoroughly and revisiting them often is so important to build classroom community. Here are some of my favorite ways to introduce those oh-so-crucial classroom rules and routines!

Class Promise

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First, Lead your students in a discussion about what a great class should look like, sound like, and feel like. Then, consolidate all of their ideas on an anchor chart. Finally, have children decorate a handprint, heart, or cutout person of themselves to go around the class promise, sealing everyone’s pledge to one another. I like to display the class promise in the classroom for the whole year, as a visual reminder of the classroom community we committed to.

Classroom Routine and Procedures Visuals

Providing clear visuals that students can refer to every single day is such a helpful way to reinforce your classroom routine and procedures. There are so many gorgeous classroom decor ideas out there to give you lots of inspiration for how you could do this in your own classroom!

For example, some teachers have special classroom routine and procedure bulletin boards that are a big and obvious reminder of classroom expectations.

Classroom Material Flipbook Craft

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Emphasizing care and respect for the classroom environment is an important part of building classroom community. This craft helps students learn how to care for their classroom materials.

Classroom Rules Quilt

Classroom quilts are a great opportunity to build classroom community! Each student contributes a square of paper with something they’re committed to trying. Then take all the squares of paper and put them together to make a class display.

Classroom Map

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Helping students students feel at home in their new classroom can help them feel like part of their classroom community. A classroom map can help students learn where everything is.

All these resources and more are included in myRoutines and Procedures Activities Bundle.

Build Classroom Community with Kindness

Every year, I make sure thatkindness is set as a standardfor how we treat one another in the classroom. Encouraging kindness between students is hugely important if you want to build community in the classroom. Here are my favorite classroom community builders that really help to make kindness an everyday expectation.

Bucket Filler Chart

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The book“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”provides a helpful metaphor for kids to understand the importance of how we treat one another. Reading this book can help inspire students to be a part of building classroom community by being a “bucket filler”.Another fun activity idea is to have students brainstorm ways they can be a “bucket filler” at school and record them on an anchor chart.

WOW Word Wall

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One of my favorite ways to build community in the classroom is by creating a WOW Word Wall. First, we talk about words that are important to our classroom community. Some examples might be “kind”, “respectful”, “helpful”, or “patient”. Then we post them on our WOW Word Wall. After that, I am constantly on the lookout for students exemplifying the words we discussed. Throughout the day, I take time to acknowledge what I noticed them doing, and then they get to place something special next to that word. You could use a sticker, or a star – I like to use thesebeautiful plastic butterflies. Later in the school year, I turn it over to the students, and they get to be the ones who acknowledge their classmates doing great things.

Kindness Chain

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This is a fun and easy way to promote kindness in your classroom. Have a time during the day when students can share ways that their classmates were kind to them. For every kindness that gets shared, add a colored strip of paper to a paper chain. My class always loves to see how long the chain becomes!

Kindness Bingo

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If you’re classroom community is needing some help, this can be a fun activity to get things back on track. Create a kindness bingo board with different acts of kindness in each square. As you notice students doing the activities, they get to color in a square on their bingo board. I like to make it a challenge to see if the whole class can reach a certain number of combined bingos so that it doesn’t become an individual competition.

Kindness Shout-Outs

Another fun way to build classroom community is to create a way for students to leave each other positive notes or messages. Shout-outs, positive notes, or compliments can be made available for students to fill out and give to other students. Some teachers even set up student mailboxes for these to be delivered! (Make sure to personally check notes before they are delivered to ensure that they stay positive.)

To get your hands on these kindness crafts and resources, plus many more, check out myKindness Activities Bundle!

I hope you now have lots of ideas for activities to build classroom community! Spending time with your students to build relationships and community is always worth it!

Which activity are you excited to try out with your students? Xoxo Laura

Resources you may be interested in:

The Best Activities To Build Classroom Community To Try Now - Love Grows Learning (11)
The Best Activities To Build Classroom Community To Try Now - Love Grows Learning (12)
The Best Activities To Build Classroom Community To Try Now - Love Grows Learning (13)
The Best Activities To Build Classroom Community To Try Now - Love Grows Learning (14)

Other articles you may be interested in:

21 Amazing Ideas For Activities On the First Day of School

Week of Kindness

5 Must-Try Classroom Routine and Procedures Ideas

10 Powerful Community-Building Ideas

back to schoolclassroom communityclassroom managementkindnessroutines and procedures

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