Building a ‘Creative Class Culture’

Here are the raw materials that I’ll be honing down into the discussions and routines that are set in the classroom:

5th grade Creative Class Culture

  1. Encourage open-mindedness and flexibility: Students will be encouraged to be open to new ideas and approaches and to be flexible in their thinking.
  2. Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Students will learn how to work effectively in teams, share ideas, and provide constructive feedback to their peers.
  3. Encourage a growth mindset: Students will be encouraged to view challenges as opportunities for growth and to embrace a “can-do” attitude.
  4. Encourage risk-taking and experimentation: Students will be encouraged to take risks, try new things, and experiment with different methods and materials.
  5. Encourage respect for diversity: Students will be encouraged to respect and appreciate the ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds of their classmates.
  6. Encourage active listening and communication: Students will be encouraged to actively listen to their classmates and communicate their ideas clearly and effectively.
  7. Encourage positive and constructive feedback: Students will learn how to provide feedback that is positive, constructive, and focused on helping others improve.
  8. Encourage self-reflection and self-awareness: Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own learning and development and to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.
  9. Encourage a safe and supportive learning environment: Students will feel safe to take creative risks and express their ideas without fear of judgment.
  10. Encourage a sense of fun and playfulness: Students will be encouraged to approach their work with a sense of playfulness and enjoyment.

Students would ideally treat each other in the following ways:

  1. Be open to new ideas and perspectives: Students would be willing to consider the ideas and perspectives of their classmates, even if they initially disagree with them.
  2. Collaborate effectively: Students would work together in teams and share ideas, providing constructive feedback and support to one another.
  3. Show respect: Students would respect the ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds of their classmates, valuing diversity and inclusivity.
  4. Give and receive constructive feedback: Students would give and receive feedback that is positive, helpful, and focused on improvement, and not on personal attacks or criticism.
  5. Be supportive: Students would be supportive of one another, helping each other to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
  6. Be self-aware and reflective: Students would be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to reflect on their own learning and development.
  7. Create a safe and supportive learning environment: Students would create an atmosphere where everyone feels safe to express their ideas, take creative risks and learn from their mistakes.
  8. Be positive and encouraging: Students would be positive and encouraging towards one another, promoting a sense of fun and playfulness in the class.
  9. Listen actively: Students would actively listen to one another, paying attention to what is being said and responding thoughtfully.
  10. Be kind and compassionate: Students would be kind and compassionate towards one another, treating each other with empathy and understanding.

Simple discussion starters for a creative class culture:

  1. How can we be open to new ideas and perspectives in class?
  2. How can we work together effectively as a team in class?
  3. How can we show respect for our classmates’ ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds?
  4. How can we give and receive helpful feedback in class?
  5. How can we be supportive of one another in class?
  6. How can we be self-aware and reflective in class?
  7. How can we create a safe and supportive learning environment in class?
  8. How can we be positive and encouraging towards one another in class?
  9. How can we actively listen to one another in class?
  10. How can we be kind and compassionate towards one another in class?

What we should do when _____ happens

  1. When someone has a new idea, we should listen to them and consider it, even if we don’t agree with it.
  2. When we are working on a project together, we should communicate clearly and help each other out.
  3. When someone shares something personal or sensitive, we should be respectful and understanding.
  4. When we receive feedback on our work, we should thank the person for their input and think about how we can use it to improve.
  5. When someone is struggling, we should offer support and encouragement.
  6. When we make a mistake or don’t understand something, we should ask for help and reflect on what we can learn from the experience.
  7. When we have a disagreement, we should try to understand the other person’s perspective and find a compromise.
  8. When someone is upset or frustrated, we should be compassionate and try to understand their feelings.
  9. When someone is not participating, we should try to include them and make them feel welcome.
  10. When someone does something good, we should recognize and appreciate it.
  1. When someone has a different opinion, we should listen to them and try to understand their point of view.
  2. When we are working on a group project, we should make sure everyone’s ideas are heard and everyone has a chance to contribute.
  3. When someone is having a hard time, we should offer them support and be there for them.
  4. When we finish a project, we should take the time to reflect on what we learned and what we can improve on.
  5. When we have an idea for a project, we should share it with the class and get feedback.
  6. When someone needs help, we should offer our assistance and work together to find a solution.
  7. When someone is feeling down, we should remind them of their strengths and encourage them to keep going.
  8. When we have a problem, we should work together to find a solution.
  9. When someone is not following the class rules, we should remind them of the expectations and help them understand how to follow them.
  10. When we feel proud of our work, we should share it with the class and get feedback.
  11. When someone is feeling left out, we should try to include them and make them feel part of the class.
  12. When we disagree with someone, we should try to understand their perspective and express our own point of view respectfully.
  13. When we see someone being bullied or treated unfairly, we should speak up and stand up for them.

Possible “class norms” for a creative class culture:

  1. We listen to and respect each other’s ideas and perspectives.
  2. We work together effectively as a team.
  3. We show respect for our classmates’ ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds.
  4. We give and receive helpful feedback.
  5. We are supportive of one another.
  6. We are self-aware and reflective.
  7. We create a safe and supportive learning environment.
  8. We are positive and encouraging towards one another.
  9. We actively listen to one another.
  10. We are kind and compassionate towards one another.
  11. We embrace diversity and inclusivity.
  12. We communicate effectively and clearly.
  13. We are open-minded and flexible.
  14. We take creative risks and experiment.
  15. We are respectful of everyone’s time.
  16. We are accountable for our own learning.
  17. We encourage experimentation and exploration.
  18. We are respectful of the class rules and expectations.
  19. We support each other’s learning and growth.
  20. We are respectful of the materials and equipment.

Class norms” related to using work time and behavior

  1. We use class time effectively and efficiently.
  2. We stay on task and avoid distractions.
  3. We work independently and take ownership of our projects.
  4. We follow the class schedule and arrive on time.
  5. We respect the work and property of others.
  6. We are responsible for our own actions and behavior.
  7. We are honest and transparent about our work.
  8. We respect the learning environment and keep the classroom clean and tidy.
  9. We are responsible for the materials and equipment we use.
  10. We are considerate of the needs of others and share resources.
  11. We behave in a way that is appropriate and respectful towards others.
  12. We avoid disruptive behavior and follow the class rules.
  13. We are respectful of the teacher and other adults in the class.
  14. We are responsible for our own learning and ask for help when needed.

A new vision for education

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