In a previous post by Juile on Relationship Building in the Classroom, we were introduced to the ideas of how important this relationship building can be with students.

You agree with the concept, but are wondering what are some specific ways to build relationships with students as well as student to student relationships. Here are some which we plan to use in the first few weeks of school, a KEY time to connect with students to build year long positive relationships.

1. Marshmallow Challenge: Simply put, students are randomly placed into groups with a few simple materials: one marshmallow, string, scotch tape and uncooked spaghetti noodles. Students work on team building as they try to construct the tallest free standing structure. See here for more info!

2. Where do I belong? Each student is given a card with a word. Four words fit in each category to make groups. Some words can fit into more than one category, so it really gets the kids thinking. After trying this out, have students find one thing in common outside of the cards (think grade, age, favorite hobby etc) that they all share. See here for more info!

3. Mingle, Mingle. Create get to know you activities that ask students to find another student in the room that matches a statement. Have teachers be a part of the list as well.

4. The Weekend Update: On Mondays, spend 3-4 minutes sharing what happened over your weekend and allow students to share too. We remind students to keep in school appropriate. Great way to connect students as well as continue to prove that teachers have lives too!

5. Student surveys: Give students the chance to share their strengths, weaknesses, goals and fears for the year on a quick student survey. We also add what types of rewards students like.

Building relationships with students are the single best way to enrich your classroom environment for students and teachers. What things do you use in your classroom?