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Adventure educator, author, playful learner, founder of playmeo.com

Excellent stuff Maurice. Can

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Excellent stuff Maurice. Can I suggest your readers check out the hundreds of fun interactive activities on playmeo.com - in particular have a look at Ice-Breaker Question Exchange - http://www.playmeo.com/ice-breaker-get-to-know-you-games/ice-breaker-que... - for dozens of wonderful, non-threatening questions to use to break the ice among students, esp in the first week of class. Also, for the record, I posted a link to this post on the playmeo blog - cheers, Mark

Manager of Online Communications for Responsive Classroom/NEFC

Thanks for highlighting

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Thanks for highlighting Responsive Classroom in this post! For more about greetings and other ideas for building positive community in the first weeks of school, check out the Resources for Educators page at our website: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/resources-educators (The featured resources on this page change frequently, but we'll keep them tied to this post through the weekend at least.)

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Timely post! Since we're in

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Timely post!

Since we're in the early days of the year, it seems so appropriate to remind teachers that the time spent in building community is never wasted. Kids who feel safe are more willing to take academic and social risks when we ask them to, but safety doesn't come over night- we have to build and maintain it intentionally and consistently over time.

In my work with the Critical Skills Program, we talk about creating opportunities for students to build deepening trust as a way to move them through the stages of group development. We describe them as:

1. Knowledge (learning basic facts and information about each other)
2. Communication (learning how we speak to each other informally and about things that matter, what it looks and sounds like when we communicate effectively)
3. Cooperation (a tacit agreement not to get in each other's way as we solve a problem or complete a task together)
4. Collaboration (a shared commitment to our mutual success as a community of learners)
5. Community (the point at which a group is invested in the shared happiness, success and safety of its members)

I can't wait to share your ideas with my colleagues!

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