Building Classroom Community in Elementary Literacy Methods Courses


  • Dr. Kathleen M. Crawford Georgia Southern University
  • Heather M. Huling Georgia Southern University



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.

Author Biographies

  • Dr. Kathleen M. Crawford, Georgia Southern University

    Dr. Kathleen M. Crawford ([email protected]) is currently an assistant professor of elementary literacy at Georgia Southern University, where she teaches elementary language arts and children’s literature courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Before joining the faculty at Georgia Southern, she was a K–5 literacy coach and fourth- and fifth-grade English language arts teacher. Her teaching and research interests include engaging literacy experiences for elementary students and undergraduate teacher candidates, creatively embedding technological tools in teaching and learning, elementary teacher education, mentoring beginning teachers, teacher induction and mentoring programs, supporting academic coaches, and understanding the emotions involved in teaching and learning.

  • Heather M. Huling, Georgia Southern University

    Heather M. Huling ([email protected]) is a clinical instructor in the Elementary Education Program at Georgia Southern University. She teaches courses in curriculum and planning, arts integration, children’s literature, and language arts methods, and supervises students in their senior-level field experiences. She was an elementary educator in the public school system for seven years before moving into higher education to work with preservice teachers as a teacher educator and mentor. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Ed.D. program in Curriculum Studies with an emphasis in multicultural and social justice education at Georgia Southern University. Her research interests focus on literacy, equity, preservice teachers, teacher education, and best practices.

Building Classroom Community (Crawford & Huling, 2023)






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How to Cite

Crawford, K., & Huling, H. (2023). Building Classroom Community in Elementary Literacy Methods Courses. Georgia Journal of Literacy, 45(1), 68–76.

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