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Building Community in the Classroom Maha Bali, PhD Associate Professor of Practice, Center for Learning & Teaching, American University in Cairo Image.

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Presentation on theme: "Building Community in the Classroom Maha Bali, PhD Associate Professor of Practice, Center for Learning & Teaching, American University in Cairo Image."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Community in the Classroom Maha Bali, PhD Associate Professor of Practice, Center for Learning & Teaching, American University in Cairo Image by Scott Maxwell via Flickr CC-By-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/ /in/photostream/

2 Chocolate Activity Chocolate box image: Jonathan Reyes CC-BY-NC via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpaxonreyes/ / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpaxonreyes/ /

3 Tell us about yourself… If you picked a galaxy jewel: tell us something you think you share in common with many others in the room If you picked Ferrero: tell us something you think is unique about yourself If you picked something else: tell us something you think most people in the room didn’t know about you

4 Reflection Why do you think I used chocolate? As a community-building strategy, which is a better pedagogical choice: Ferrero or Galaxy Jewels? When would chocolate be a bad strategy altogether? I will share how/why I use this activity in my own classes

5 Workshop Outcomes During this workshop, I hope you will: Experience diverse community-building activities that can be used for different purposes at different times during a semester Explore possible ways to adapt or create new community-building activities for your objectives in your classes

6 Exercise: Why & How? Why would you want to build community in the classroom? What do you currently do to build community? Strategies, ideas, etc.. What kind of challenges do you face? Share with group on your table

7 OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE What do you see? Different ways/purposes for this exercise? Things can sometimes go wrong…

8 My Why & How My reasons for building community in my classes How I get my ideas: o Internet including google search and my PLN o Corporate world o Other workshops/teaching (e.g. FYE at AUC, some teacher handbooks) o I make many of them up (e.g. the chocolate activity we just did)

9 Role of Community “There are three facets of a classroom and school environment: 1) the physical environment, 2) the emotional environment, and, 3) the academic environment… To establish a positive classroom climate, safe emotional environment, and to begin building community immediately requires deliberate, conscious planning and strategies.” Anne Shaw (2013, August 13), Director, 21st Century Schools, “Back to School Strategoy Building Community” Edutopia article: strategy-building-community-anne-shawhttp://www.edutopia.org/blog/back-to-school- strategy-building-community-anne-shaw

10 Building Community: 3 levels student-student (one on one) student-teacher student-teacher-class (all of us as a group, whether the entire group or smaller groups)

11 Building community during strategic times: First day of class First 5-10 minutes of class Online in-between classes Other? How about…. All the time???

12 Suggestion… To make the most of this workshop, as we go: For each activity/idea/exercise we do, you might like to think/write about: Can I use this in my classroom? If not, why not? How might I modify/extend this for my classroom? What kind of challenges would this pose?

13 Getting to Know Individuals Ingredients of Me, from my blog:

14 Small/Large Group Activities Jeopardy Game: Name the Game Game (very simple)Name the Game Game o I used it in my own class to test pre-knowledge and start students thinking about the topic we’ll be taking for the rest of the semester Get outside… Scavenger Hunt activity: Twitter Scavenger HuntTwitter Scavenger Hunt o Meet a learning outcome by having students play in pairs or small groups – outside the classroom

15 Ice-breakers/Conversation Starters Conversation starter: Learning is like flowers; OERs are like food flowersfood Brainstorming: 1+1>2 Props e.g. digital citizenship toolkitdigital citizenship toolkit

16 Community Online Discussion forums, blogs, wikis (ideas in other workshop) Opportunities for personalization Continuous (not limited to class time) Some students more comfortable online (e.g. shy face to face) Room for 100% participation Image: Social media art: by mkhmarketing via Flickr CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhmarketing/

17 Beyond Activities Giving students space: o What choices over topics can you give students? o What choices over modes can you give students? o How much room for decision-making can you give them? o Consider relevance o Consider how students can support each other o Consider how to reduce competition

18 Exercise: for your course Think of a learning outcome or class activity that might benefit from including/converting a community activity or ice breaker

19 Challenges What’s on your mind? Time – but can you afford not to? Diversity in the class vs. seniors in the same major Some student attitudes Trust takes time to build, you can’t force it

20 Thank You Questions?


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