This wiki page is full of fun activities that will develop and promote creating a community of learners. I learned about this topic through an RTC course titled Increasing Student Responsibility and Self-Discipline within Leaning Communities. The instructor, Frank Mayo, did an awesome job inspiring our class to try these ideas in our own classrooms!

Please see the Rationale Document below to learn more...
Rationale & Teacher Guide:

What is a Community of Learners (COL) or a Learning Community (LC)?

According to Richard D.Solomon and his wife Elaine C Lanter Solomon..." it is a classroom, and by extension, a school in which every member, i.e. student, administrator, teacher, aide, parent, custodian, etc., is dedicated to doing his/her personal best as a student and caring member of the community"...

"a school which becomes a COL school is focused on-

Academic achievement & positive social and emotional development."

The following are ideas you can use in your classroom to help your students become responsible, confident, independent, and caring members of the classroom community.

This first section will start with "getting to know you" activities followed by activities that promote whole class, small group and partner relationships. The final section will include activities that will help students develop personal understanding which will lead to more responsible behavior.

Click here if you love Pinterest for a great collection!


Great lesson for interactive name tags!

Creating Classroom Rules

Scholastic Lesson to Guide You in Creating Classroom Rules Together

ReadWriteThink K-2 Lesson on Creating Classroom Rules

One framework that promotes a Community of Learners is the Responsive Classroom here is a preview of a DVD available as a resource. It shows a third grade creating their rules:

How's it Going?

Students are given a red, green, and yellow solo cup to show understanding during your lesson. Red shows they need help, yellow indicates they are not sure, and green means they understand. You can use colored index cards, chips, etc.



Students determine what the three things have in common. For example:

Instant – Hidden – Candid - (cameras)

Click here for more -

Put Ups

Have a box available in your classroom where you and your students can acknowledge something good that happened during class.

put ups.jpg

Mill and Freeze

Play music while you and your students "mill" around and chat with each other about anything of interest. When the music stops - form pairs and share your answer.


Parking Lot

When introducing new material students are asked to write what they want to learn about the topic on a post it and place that post -it on the poster parking lot. You can also gather questions students have during a lesson to be answered at a later time.

external image parking_lot_poster.jpg
Click on this image to visit a blog that supports creating a classroom community and shares her ideas and images...

One Good Thing

Students think of one good thing that happened that happened between the time you left class and now... You can present your one good thing using Stand Up Sit Down listed below!


Stand Up Sit Down

A question is presented to the class. When you have your answer stand up, When everyone is standing someone shares their answer - anyone with the same answer sits down - keep going until everyone is sitting.
stand up.jpg

Yes, No, Maybe, Questions

Students physically go to the corners of the room based on their answer to posed question. When students have settled in their corners pull name sticks and ask a question. Pull another stick and ask- "would you like to add to that?". Ask the class if anyone wants to switch corners based on learning. You can ask anyone in the no corner to repeat something they heard/learned.

yes no.jpg

Talking Chips

Each student in partnership or small group has two chips, coins, etc. Pose a question and students must only talk when they have turned in a token. All chips must be used!

Share A Gem - Class Web

Students are asked to bring in something special. Form a class circle and take turns sharing your gem. Create a class web with a ball of yarn passing the yarn to each student as they share. When all have shared observe the web. Pull from one students spot and see how all feel the effects of the pulling. Snip some sections and see what it looks like when someone "detaches" from the group- discuss.


Inside Outside Circle

Have students pose a content area/getting to know you question and write both the question and answer on an index card. Students count off by 2's. Form an inner circle and an outer circle with students in the inner circle facing the students in the outer circle. Pick a name stick and ask that student to pick a number (under 10) and a direction. Students will move either the inner or outer circle (teachers call) and pose the question to the new face to face partner. Tally on the index card correct and incorrect results and switch cards. Keep going! Use cards with many incorrect responses as a review.

Uncommon Commonalities

Have random partnerships identify and record things they have in common using a Venn diagram. Share what you learned about each other.
external image Venn%20Diagram.jpg

Pass the Torch

Students pass the "torch" using the following format:
Student 1 - Hello "name of student 2" Please tell me -What is the capital of New Jersey?
Student 2 - Hello "name of student 1 - the capital is Trenton.
Student 1 - Thank you!
Student 2 - You're Welcome!
Student 2 will pose a question to a new student as they pass the torch.


Teacher poses a question that has several different answers. For example - favorite season - students in similarity groups (corner) share and discuss.

Round Table

Teacher poses a question with multiple responses. In small groups use one piece of paper and pass round robin style. Each student can write one answer then pass (or just pass) until time elapses. Check/share answers.
round table.jpg

Awesome video comparing self-esteem to poker chips...

Remember the 4th "R" stands for relationships. Students need to feel safe in their environment!

See link for lessons on creating a Bully Free Classroom!

Student Self Reflections/Development Activities

Use this form to learn more about how students feel about a recently completed project:

Click here for the printable file

Click here for more great ideas on Pinterest!


You can lose yourself here with the amazing collection of printable forms - research & videos on self - reflection and assessment...