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Monday, July 29, 2019

Four Ways to Build Relationships in a Resource Room Setting

It's no secret that building relationships in the classroom is so important. It is also important, but sometimes more difficult, in the resource setting when a teacher only sees students for 20-45 minutes at a time. 

Here are four tried and true ways to build community and relationships in a short amount of class time. 

1. Ask questions.
One of the easiest ways to get to know your students is to simply ask them questions. Ask them about their family, their interests, what they did over the weekend, etc. Ask them follow up questions about what they've previously told you. Every Monday, I always take time to ask my students how their weekend was and what they did. This only takes a few minutes, but it's so worth it. Students love to share about themselves!

2. Share information about yourself.
Kids love to learn about their teachers. I always share about my weekends with them, pictures of my pets, and anything else that might be a way of connecting. When they ask me questions about my life, I typically answer them unless the question is too personal. My students love to hear stories about and see pictures my dog and cat. 

3. Use their interests to influence your lesson planning. 
Once I know some of my students' interests, I can use them to plan activities and lessons. For example, I had a student who was really interested in dinosaurs. When I found this out, I found reading passages and activities about dinosaurs. Using these materials was a great way to build connection with this particular student and let him know I was listening when he would share information about his interests. 

4. Spend time in the beginning of the year team building before jumping into content.
I always spend time during the first few weeks team building and getting to know the kids before we jump into content. This is especially helpful if I haven't worked with them before, as they may not be comfortable with me yet. In previous years, I have used the Marshmallow Challenge with older students. I also have students fill out my All About Me handout. With this, I can easily learn some of their favorite things. This give the other students and I a chance to talk about or favorite things, find similarities, and possibly learn about something new in a relaxing environment. I'm also able to get a sense of their current literacy skills. It's also interesting to look at at the end of the year to see how students have changed. 

This is an excerpt from my First Week of School: Icebreakers & Get to Know You Activities Pack which can be found HERE. Included in this pack are ELEVEN activities that can be used to build community and relationships in the first weeks of school. 

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