I found the Community Building Activities extremely helpful. I did similar things at the beginning of the school year, but didn’t think about revisiting these concepts beyond that. It was encouraging to see students breaking out of their shells and talking to people they hardly talk to. I feel like taking time to do these activities every so often will help to strengthen the classroom community.
Classroom Norms (Community Agreements) that we establish at the beginning of the year help dictate the environment/ tone of the classroom. It is important that we consistently revisit the agreements and hold students accountable for reflecting on their adherence to those agreements.
Continuously working on building community throughout the course of the school year will lower student's affective filters and encourage them to take risks in classroom discussion like Socratic seminars. Community building activities are good not only at the beginning of the school year, but also at the beginning of each semester and after the flux of schedule changes has subsided.