School is off to a good start, but as a teacher I always want to know how the kiddos feel about each other and the classroom climate. I can usually identify and have a feeling of the class dynamics, but am I right? Here are some of my favorite tips for getting a feeling for my classroom climate.
Tips For Getting To Know Your Classroom Climate
For many years I have done a class Sociogram Lesson.
I start out the lesson by reading books. Lately my books of choice are No, David and David Goes to School by David Shannon. These books are great because they are high interest and the kiddos recognize all David’s troubles.
Once we are done talking and reading the books, we make a chart about David. We don’t list the negative behavior, but how to make it positive.
We have post-it notes with positive comments on the chart
After we are finished with the chart I ask the kids, are you like David in the story or are you like the kind words on the chart?
Once we have finished the chart each student gets a grid chart. On the grid chart is a picture of everyone in the class. After everyone has the chart, we talk about what a friend looks like.
I ask the kiddos to circle 5 kids in the class that are NOT like David, but are kind, positive, friendly,etc.
They take a grid, go to their special spot in the the room.
Write their name at the top and circle with a red crayon 5 friends they like, and is a very good friend to others in the classroom.
They may not circle their own picture.
I also tell them this is private and who we circle and should not talk about who they circled.
How do I use the Data?
I tally the circle heads on a sheet.
Circling 5 kiddos is a good number to use and gives me good information on relationships in the classroom.
I put the individual data sheet in each child’s conference folder. It’s a piece we discuss during the conference.
I get a better understanding and conformation of friendships and relationships.
My Part in the Sociogram as a Teacher
The information and data I gathered from the sociogram is crucial in helping the kiddos in my class feel good, and make sure they feel a part of the group.
I also work to improve the relationship of the students in the class that did not receive a high score in several different ways.
- Integrating in students in groups
- Set up situations that are positive
- Table partners
- Classroom Intervention
This is an activity I do four times a year. The information and data the sociogram identifies becomes important with some kiddos in getting outside staff to help the student in the classroom and it becomes a very good intervention. We assess kids constantly in our districts, state, and nation, but this is a simple assessment that gives information on relationships, self confidence, and self worth.
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