Building Community

Emotions, relationships, and learning

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to deal with one's emotions and interpersonal relationships, both a key to cognitive functioning and as important in adult success. Building community in a school helps promote emotional intelligence; strategies for increasing emotional intelligence can help build community. Emotional Intelligences in Schools. Article explores the importance of understanding emotional intelligence in learning. Here are links to sites on emotional intelligences. Here's another good site.

Community and human needs

'Trusting' School Community Linked to Student Gains. Good article from Education Week that illustrates the importance and impact of building community in a school.

Developing Empathy in Children and Youth. Great article about practical strategies.

Building a culture of community in the school

The Supportive Classroom. An initiative in 14 Vermont schools to create safe and supportive schools based on four core concepts: trust, sharing, belonging, and respect.

Twenty-Five Activities for Building Student Character and School Community. an excellent article based on the six pillars of character developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics - trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

Building community in the classroom

esponsive Classrooms A site with many resources related to building community and addressing social and emotional needs of children. Very practical resources and materials.

Tribes is a process of building community, respect, and responsibility in a community of learners in a school. This site provides an introduction and resources related to this approach.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning seeks to “establish social and emotional learning (SEL) as an essential part of education. We envision a world where families, schools, and communities work together to promote children's success in school and life and to support the healthy development of all children".

Classroom Community: Building a Solid Foundation. Describes how to get started in the school year building community in the classroom from Inspiring Teachers, a great website. Here's another article from their site: Tips on Building a Classroom Community.

Ten Ways To Build Community in Your Classroom. A short article by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon with practical, specific suggestions.

Building a Classroom Community. A great practical article from Performance Learning Systems.

Creating Classroom Communities in Elementary School. This great site shares the experiences and stories directly of several teachers in an elementary school working to create a community in their classrooms.

Creating Learning Communities - Models, Resources and New Ways of Thinking About Teaching and Learning Book written by 30 people describing strategies and approaches for building schools as learning communities.

The Responsive Classroom: Teaching Children to Care. A great short article that provides a good introduction to the responsive classroom approach.

Building Community in the Classroom. Article written by a high school teacher.

Jigsaw Clasroom. Good site for this approach to cooperative learning.

Random Acts of Kindness. Encourage kindness among your students. Some great ideas on this site.

Peer support

The goal: 'Just to be a friend'. Great article about a high school that sought to bridge the divide between students with and without disabilities.

Rules and expectations

Rules vs. Expectations. A good article by Marvin Marshall drawing a distinction between rules, which are often counter-productive in relationships, and expectations.

Ten Activities for Establishing Class Rules. This article shows some options for involving students in developing classroom rules.

Reclaiming Youth International. A great approach to dealing with challenging students based on the Circle of Courage.

Key sites for positive behavior support

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV). National center that links research, policy, and practice in efforts to reduce violence.

Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice A center that works to help communities create schools that promote emotional well-being, effective instruction and safe learning. Site has many resources that focus on use of teams, collaboration, community building, and positive behavioral support in assisting children and youth with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Disruptive and Disaffected Pupils in Mainstream Schools This site includes downloadable examples of Individual Behavior Plans and a sizeable database of references and strategies for teachers, parents and agencies involved with Disaffected Pupils in Mainstream Schools.

Florida's Positive Behavior Support Project. Read about what is happening in Florida and use their materials.

Positive Behavior Support Federally funded research and training center that has many practical resources related to positive behavior support.

Promising Practices. Descriptions of multiple strategies that are working with children and youth with severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Includes examples of model schools.

Reclaiming Youth Network Reclaiming Youth is an organization dedicated to transforming education and human services by creating respectful ways of dealing with youth. This work is based on the Circle of Courage that addresses the universal needs of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. Great approach and resources here.

Resources for Positive Behavior Supports. A great site with lots of links to key resources.

School-wide Information System (SWIS). Systematic process to gather data to help identify key problem areas in a school. Eg. do behavior problems tend to occur more during transitions or at lunch time?

Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Another federally funded center with many resources.

Wrap-around Planning. A site that describes approaches to coordinate school and agency services to provide holistic support to children with behavioral challenges and their families.

Proactive responses to social and behavioral challenges

Learning to Discipline. Article by a high school teacher who shares her journey to find effective ways to teach responsibility in the classroom and move beyond being either a drill sergeant or Mary Poppins!

Responsible Thinking Process (RTP). A great site regarding this proactive approach to challenging behavior.