Learning community: finding common ground in difference

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As they found common ground, emotional safety grew as well as a willingness to listen and learn more from the diverse backgrounds in the classroom community. Actions teachers take on the first day set the tone for the entire school year.

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Both verbal and nonverbal communication send signals to kids about the teacher, the class and the year ahead. You set the emotional tone and create the climate, and it has a huge impact on those you are leading. Embracing your role as the CEO is a huge first step in creating a family community, which will do wonders for getting students of all ages to feel comfortable opening up, sharing and getting to know each other.

In order to help students begin to find common ground, team-building exercises are also powerful. The goal is to get students talking, laughing and sharing, which will release dopamine.

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Dopamine creates a feeling of well-being and the brain signals a desire to have more of the activity causing the feeling, whether it be healthy peer interactions, engaging in the class community or laughing and sharing with the teacher. Here are some ways you can ensure this process continues throughout the year. Student profiles. Student Profiles are a powerful tool that can be referenced throughout the year. These can also provide keys to engaging the child that is quieter, more reserved and resistant to peer or teacher interaction. Daily check-ins. It can be a tremendous help in priming the brain for learning to have a few minutes of check-in time at the beginning of class.

My strategy evolved into what we called "Big World-Little World. This led to several students sharing comments, suggestions and questions regarding the interview. It was a beautiful thing!

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And the start of our daily ritual at the beginning of every class. They indeed found common ground and began to feel like a family, wanting to share things going on in their little world throughout the year. Remain vigilant and allow for sharing. One powerful moment happened when one of my American students was commenting on the living conditions in Iraq.

I could tell immediately that one of my Iraqi students was becoming visibly agitated. I asked if he would be willing to share what he was thinking and feeling.


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Thankfully he was, and it was an amazing opportunity for other students to learn from him regarding how inaccurate some of their perceptions had been. It also created an opportunity for his country, heritage and customs to be highlighted and celebrated. Regardless of how prepared we think we are as teachers, most of us end up feeling as lost as Easter eggs and discouraged at times during the first year or two of focusing on culturally responsive practices.

Remembering a couple of tips can help us reduce stress, keep the tank full and quickly bounce back from frustration. The first thing to remember? Perspectives on Online Learning. In Death Ground.

Finding Mrs. Recommend Documents. A learning community in the primary classroom A Learning Community in the Primary Classroom This richly detailed description and analysis of exemplary teaching in t Your name.

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