Community matters to me. A lot. In my own classroom, I feel pretty good about our community. However, being in a new school I miss feeling like a part of a larger community. That’s simply a factor of transitioning to a new school and a new grade level. It takes some time to become a part of everything. In my old school I knew all the adults and many of the students. Here, I barely know my team and my kiddos!
In order to be a part of our larger community, I put this chalkboard up outside of our classroom. Every couple of weeks I change the prompt (right now it says “My favorite part of 2014 was..”) and stick some chalk out there. My kiddos only write/draw on it when I help them read it and talk about it. But the chalk sits on the floor and the third and fourth graders walk past here on the way to their classrooms (in trailers). They are in and out for bathroom breaks throughout the day. It’s great fun for me to see what’s been added all the time. Sometimes it is off topic, but mostly it’s focused.
The downside is it’s a chalkboard so it doesn’t take much for it to get smudged. It’s a start though. A place for us all to share our thinking and read each other’s.