Building Classroom Community: Class Pledge

January 10, 2015
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 seem to be very invested in the being the “top dogs” and being role models for younger students. So, I put their enthusiasm to use with this back-to-school/after-break activity!

First, they brainstormed their 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 like “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 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 had been discussing an essay contest where they were writing 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! It was a great moment.

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

This is the final product! Tomorrow, we will be using the freebie below to record the Classroom Pledge AND create their own Personal Pledge. I can’t wait!! To grab your own copy, click the picture below…

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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  • 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!

    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! 🙂

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

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