Building Classroom Community in Elementary Literacy Methods Courses
Keywords:classroom community, building relationships, elementary literacy methods, morning meetings, teacher education, teaching with technology
In this article, two elementary teacher educators provide a novel approach to building relationships and classroom community in their face to face elementary literacy methods courses. The authors present their classroom practice entitled “Tell Me Time” (TMT), mirroring morning meetings in K–12 settings, as the staple of building classroom community in their courses. They describe how TMT has been used to build student relationships with each other and with instructors through providing unique, personalized opportunities to socialize and connect through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Threaded throughout, the authors detail specific feedback from students and highlight how TMT has helped students find common ground with one another and made them feel comfortable, cared for, and respected by their instructors. The authors describe the reasons behind implementing TMT, outline specific TMT activities and examples that have been most effective with their students, provide insight into how to integrate technology with TMT, delineate specific steps for successfully implementing TMT, and describe lessons learned from the implementation of TMT.