Student Contributor: A. Turner
This tool is something to incorporate into a morning meeting with the class. Each student takes a turn being greeted by their peers at the beginning of the meeting. I think this is a great tool to use with young students in order to build a strong and positive classroom community.
This tool should be introduced at the beginning of the school year. It’s a great way to get students in a classroom routine and help build a classroom community. Each day, during the morning meeting, each student will take a turn introducing themselves. For example, the teacher will say, “My name is Ms. Turner”. After the person introduces themselves, the rest of the classroom will greet them by replying, “I’m so glad you’re at school today, Ms. Turner!” The teacher, or student of the day, will point to another student. Again, they will begin with the same introduction, “My name is Jimmy”. Everyone will respond in unison, “I’m so glad you’re at school today, Jimmy!” The same process is repeated until each student and staff member in the room has introduced themselves and been greeted. I think this tool is great to use, even if it is just implemented at the beginning of the school year when students are learning each other’s names. Even after students know each other, though, I think this tool helps to create community and makes each student feel valued and cared for at the beginning of each day. What a lovely thing to say to hear from your teachers and friends at the beginning of the school day, “I’m so glad you’re here!”
I placed this tool in the preventative phase because it begins each day in the classroom letting students know that they are welcomed and valued. I think this sense of belonging is very important when it comes to classroom management. When students feel safe and appreciated, they’re more likely to want to be a part of the classroom team and treat their teacher and peers with kindness. This tool could have gone in the supportive phase as well, but I think as it is implemented in the beginning of the year and used at the beginning of each day, the preventative phase is more appropriate.
I think the theories of influence that support this tool are student centered and collaborative. First, this tool is collaborative because the teacher needs to tell students how the tool works at the beginning of the year. Without explicit instruction on this tool, it wouldn’t be successful in the classroom. Students listen to the teacher’s directions of the tool and then follow and implement the directions themselves. I think it is also supported by the student-centered theory of influence because as students become used to this routine, they could easily prompt it themselves at the beginning of morning meeting. Further, it is very student involved as they are greeting and being greeted by each of their classmates.
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Tool Source: A kindergarten teacher in Cheney School District.