Student Engagement

Classroom Community: 7 Strategies for How to Create One

alt="a boy and a girl laying on their stomachs in the classroom looking at a book. Text overlay reads How to Create compasssionate classroom community : 7 strategies for Success."

Build Classroom Community From Day One

My heart breaks when I see assigned partners in the classroom announce to the classroom verbally or visually  that they are only working together because they have to. Classroom community is destroyed, and everyone feels the hurt.  

Instead build community from the beginning.  Positive classroom community is an essential part of classroom management because it is integral to your students’ sense of belonging and feelings of safety and security.

If you, like me, understand that you are teaching the students not the curriculum, positive classroom community is a must have.

If you are:

  • still not sure of the importance of building a classroom community, or
  • unsure of how to build a classroom community, or 
  • want a greater understanding of building a classroom community  . . . 

 this blog is for you .  . . welcome. 🥰

alt="beige background with sunshine graphic in the middle, top left corner asks what is your classroom community like?, Other questions are, how do they respond when assigned random partners, who are they willing to help when a neighbour needs a hand, what are they willing to share and with whom, who do they want to sit beside and not sit beside, how do they treat each other when unsupervised. at the bottom is the CTA read More or Save for Later., and the website address"
All classrooms have community, but the goal is positive classroom community.

What is a Classroom Community?

A classroom community is a space in which a group of students comes together to learn. 

Just like any community, a classroom community is the group you learn  with.

How do they respond when assigned random partners?

Who are they willing to help when a neignbour needs a helping hand?

How do they talk to each other when they are unsupervised?

What are they willing to share and with whom?

Why do they want to sit beside, or not want to sit beside, a particular classmate?

All classrooms have answers to these questions, and the answers to those questions define your communities.

Be it positive or negative, you have a classroom community.

alt="group of happy young children in a classroom with their arms raised surrounding their teacher who is sitting at a round table with a game on top. below that is the caption, be it positive or negative you have a classroom community! Below that is the CTA read more or save for later, and the web address"

Which is Not a Component to Creating Classroom Communities?

The goal is not to have everyone invited to everyone else’s birthday party. 

I know we don’t like to see students being left out, but life is like that.  

The purpose of classroom communities is to build an understanding of how to work well with others even when we aren’t the best of friends. 

On a recent holiday my husband and I sat near a couple at breakfast, and we got to chatting.

We enjoyed a lovely interval of breakfast community. We left, having thoroughly enjoyed their company, knowing we would never see them again.  

Even if we lived close to them we would probably not be friends. They would be great neighbours, but our interests are so divergent that we probably would not spend enough time together to build a close relationship.

However, the community, for that moment and that purpose was fantastic. It was inclusive, friendly, engaging, and humorous. 

Classroom communities are similar. We move past tolerance and acceptance to understanding and even enjoyment of others, while still recognizing that they may not be a part of our closest personal relationships.

alt="cream coloured background with text reading, which is not a component to creating classroom community."
In healthy classroom communities it is expected that everyone is kind and respectful to each other. It is not expected that everyone becomes best friends playing together all the time and going to all of the birthday parties.

Building Positive Community

So, if not besties, then what is a positive classroom community?

In my class my students LOVED it when I assigned partner activities using random partner cards.  If you aren’t too sure of what that means you can learn more about it in this blog post

Partner cards makes finding a partner kind of like opening a treasure box to find out who you get every time their is a partner activity.

Interestingly, even the popular students like them, because they may have multiple friends in the class and be worried that their choice for partner will choose someone else.  Even the popular kids have fears of being left out. 

If you don’t have any partner cards, you can find them in my store here. 

The beauty of positive community is that you have created an environment where the students consistently request the assignment of random partners, AND they are kind and respectful with whomever they are assigned to.

In a positive classroom community students:

  • help anyone.
  • use their words to resolve conflict.
  • ask for help.
  • take chances with risk taking and making mistakes.
  • encourage each other with kind words.
  • are compassionate towards each other.
  • and the list goes on . . . . 💟

How to Build a Classroom Community AKA 7 Strategies for Success

Building a classroom communities starts with you, and the decisions you make. 

  1. Get everyone to agree on how they are going to treat each other.  In my classroom we started that with creating classroom expectations together
  2. Monitor behaviour 
  3. Decide how to enforce those classroom expectations so that everyone knows that they are safe to learn and grow and make mistakes.
  4. Create opportunities for students to work together.
  5. Create opportunities for students to play together.
  6. Develop a growth mindset for everyone, (yourself included 😊)
  7. Celebrate growth even if the growth means they made a mistake because they took a chance.

But let’s get a little bit more specific.

Building a Classroom Community Activities

Building a classroom community activities does not necessarily mean building classroom community lesson plans.

There is definitely an element of lesson planning as Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important part of how to build classroom community and classroom management.

However, a lot can be accomplished with simple activities. 

Games are central to how to build classroom community.  

They are:

  • engaging,
  • provide a shared focus,
  • teach great life skills like staying focused, sportsmanship, and turn taking, 
  • they integrate community building and SEL into the daily curriculum, and
  • kids learn through play!

As a matter of fact, I believe so much in the power of games, a large part of my store is math games

I have also differentiated my games because enabling success for everyone supports student success.

Other building a classroom community activities from my class include:

  • morning laps around the school,
  • reading buddy time,
  • would you rather questions at carpet
  • Readers Theater,
  • classroom art activities like murals,
  • wrote a  nonfiction book together
  • free time activities that include: provocations, STEM kits, math games, rich classroom library, and colouring pages,
  • rich children’s literature,
  • praying together,
  • classroom chores, 
  • making our own valentines in class and including a kind, meaningful (and short) personal message. 
  • sharing our work,
  • taking chances, 
  • and more that I can’t think of right now.

Although lesson plans were involved, these activities were one part of the lesson plan.  For none of these classroom community examples  did I make a building classroom community lesson plans. 

alt="sage green background with geometric shaped motifs in top left and bottom right corners, in the middle is a scenic riverside picture, and over that is the icon for a free set of cards for a game of would you rather, below that is the CTA for Read more or save for later, and the web address is"
This free activity from my store gives you a series of questions that will help you to get started on building your classroom community immediately.

Creating Community

Creating classroom community IMHO is one of the most rewarding efforts you will put into your classroom management. 

Hugging tearful parents who have seen their children bloom and grow in confidence. 

Hearing a child say, “You made me brave.”

Encouraging a mother who is worried that she failed her child, then receiving her year end card about the moral growth of her child over and above their academic growth.

Knowing that children respond to your classroom expectations and rules when you understand that this has been a struggle for them in other areas.

Seeing a student who has been bullied in another school soften, relax, grow and thrive in your classroom.

These are just a few of the blessings of building a positive community.

Jump right in.  If you are just getting started I do encourage you to check my Free Would You Rather cards.  

I also encourage you to check out my Math Games

And, of course, my Back to School Essentials include some classroom community building activities, partner cards, and activities for a beginning of the school year story activities amongst other things.

Thank you for joining me.  

Share a question or a favourite classroom community activities in the comments below.

alt="sage green background with a floral image in the middle, above the floral image it read classroom community activities, and the icon over top of the floral image is an icon for back to school essentials, with an image of a game and some partner cards. below the icon is a CTA which says Read more or save for later, and below that is the web address
This resource is sold in my store, and it includes 2 sets of partner cards for assigning random partners. Another great way to build community.

Let’s Connect! :


💜  Facebook

☀️  Pinterest

✅  Store

You may also like...

Skip to content