In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
One of the things I want to be better about is building and maintaining a classroom community. It should literally feel like a second family. This atmosphere of acceptance and belonging takes a little work on the part of teachers and staff, but it is time well spent because the routines and rituals we put in place really do shape the attitude of the class as a whole.
The past few days I’ve been thinking about how to start each day off in the most positive way possible. I love the greeting apron, and have been using it for several years now. (I made my own, but you can look here to get the general idea. I prefer to have the choices on velcro tabs to freshen up the greetings from time to time.) The kids get a kick out of choosing their method of hello, and eventually the job of morning greeter (and the joy of wearing the apron!) moves from me to the kids. It is one of the most popular classroom jobs.
Some months ago, I ran across this simply brilliant idea for arrival and attendance. I love how the routine of checking in each morning supports the ritual of affirming the importance of each child to the school family. I’m going to have to find a slightly larger cookie sheet, but I’m excited about adding this to our class.