What does community building in a preschool classroom setting look like? For us, it’s building each other up, creating a sense of belonging and fostering connection within our room. Filling buckets, doing kind things for one another even when we think no one is watching, having photos and artwork on display in the room, participating in group projects, having children’s portfolios where they are easily accessible, and creating a sense of responsibility by giving each child a job to do for the day are all ways that we foster a positive community.
Have you filled a bucket today? Very simply, filling a bucket means showing kindness in some way to another person. This could be a kind word, offering a helping hand, sharing, including someone, making a card for someone else, etc.
At the beginning of September, the Owls were given a task. Each one of us, including the educators, filled an ornament up with items that were special to us. After each one was filled, we strung them up in our library area.
The hanging piece represents each one of us and the differences we have. It symbolizes how each one of us is unique, however, come together beautifully. This was a great community building activity as each of the Owls were curious about what the other's put in their ornament.
The community around us includes helpers, or people who do jobs which allow it to function smoothly. The same goes for in the Owl room. We have created job tags which the children are given at the start of each day and they include recycler, snack cart helper, table cleaner, sweeper, etc. The children are eager to receive their job for the day and frequently remind us about their jobs! They have thought of new jobs to add as well. Having these jobs gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility to ensure the job is done. It also has given them a voice to encourage their peers to help to keep areas tidy when no one is using them.
Building community is very important to us. It makes everyone feel like they belong and are a part of something special. We love seeing the smiles on everyone’s face when they see that their picture is a part of many on the wall or in our photo album. We ensure our classroom and everything in it is accessible to everyone. We are so proud of the community we have built together. Each member of our community is highly valued and their ideas are as equally important as everyone else’s.