Building Classroom Community: Class Pledge

January 10, 2015
Building a strong classroom community is the key to getting your school year off to a good start. Students are more likely to learn and grow in an environment that supports them and values their contributions! This is a great activity to start building classroom community right off the bat.
One of the best things about teaching 5th grade, in my opinion, is how much ownership and responsibility they take for their classroom and school. They are very invested in the being the “top dogs” and being role models for younger students. So, I put their enthusiasm to work with this back-to-school/after-break activity!
anchor chart of ideas: what does it mean to be a 5th grader?

First, they brainstormed ideas about what it means to be a 5th grader. They started off by writing their own thoughts and then worked with a partner to share and grow their list. We shared as a class and created the chart above. They did a great job capturing the spirit of what being a 5th grader really means. (I especially liked “We are mature.” That one got a smile from me for sure!)

Once we had our extensive list of ideas, they worked with partners to narrow the list down to what they thought was most important. They used the discussion questions above to help them decide.

After their discussion with partners, students advocated for what they thought should be included in the classroom “Pledge.” (They came up with the idea of having a classroom pledge after we discussed an essay contest where they wrote about what the Pledge of Allegiance meant to them.)

My favorite quote from this part of the discussion? “I really like the idea of calling it a Pledge, because that means that people are making the choice about how they behave.” YES! I love fifth graders!

We recorded the top 5 ideas and slept on it…just in case they wanted to add or change anything.

Once everyone agreed – each kid took their choice of Sharpie and signed their name. We hung this class pledge on the door so we would pass it every time we left or came back to the room.

After we finished the classroom pledge, we used the freebie below to make a copy of the classroom pledge for each student AND to create their own Personal Pledge. I can’t wait!! To grab your own copy, click the picture below…

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/We-Pledge-A-Classroom-Culture-Activity-1640049http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/We-Pledge-A-Classroom-Culture-Activity-1640049

I hope that this will save you some time and give your class a great way to take ownership of their classroom!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Rachel - Mrs. O "Knows" January 10, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Hooray for your first blog hop! I love the personal pledge idea. We always set new goals when we return from the winter break. This would be great to include in their folders to refer to at each quarter when we're having "data chats" with the students. It's a pleasure to hop with you and I hope we'll do it again!

    Rachel
    Mrs O Knows

  • Reply Mrs. Spangler in the Middle January 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I love this idea and will use it with my middle schoolers as we start a new marking period! 🙂

    -Lisa
    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

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