The academic and the social curriculums go hand in hand as we
spend our days together in the classroom. The social curriculum focuses
on creating a strong classroom community that is responsive to each
student’s need to be part of a caring group that recognizes and supports
individual and group accomplishments and challenges.
Morning Meeting is a place where much of the tone is set for this to
take place. It is a place where we get to know each other and we work on
group projects that help all the students take ownership of the
classroom. The process of coming up with the class rules is a good
example of building our new community together. It might be easier to
have the rules posted from Day 1, but through the process of working on
them together, we have formed a contract with which everyone is onboard.
Social activities unfold from each other. For example: From our small
group work in generating Jobs for the class, the job of Problem Solver
was suggested. Asked what this job would look like, ideas are suggested
by students and it may then be decided that we need to have another
meeting just to talk and practice, perhaps with role-playing scenarios,
about what this job might entail. Snippets of conversation may begin
about peer mediation. We will continue to have children’s voices be an
essential element of the school day as the year continues.