Using meetings to build a sense of community in the classroom
Meetings in the classroom are primarily the center of community life. Children learn what it means to be part of a community by participating in meetings. This is where members exchange ideas and listen to each other. This enables the children to develop the ability to listen and speak effectively. Furthermore, they will learn to make choices, settle differences whenever they arise and learn to appreciate one another. This is important in the functioning of any community. There will always be issues that need to be addressed; people with different points of view and sometimes they disagree. Children will learn this through meetings. Meetings will also help them develop the ability to share in the classroom. It will boost their confidence and enable them to take on challenges. Meetings also form a basis for developing communication strategies through learning how to speak out for themselves, express feelings and ideas, and also how to write and read at the same time.
There are various meetings such as those held at the start of the day where each child is greeted, morning messages are reviewed, poems are recited, songs are sung, and introduction of the day’s activities. Meetings at transition times such as preparation for lunch, conclusion of a work time, cleaning up, moving from an activity to the other, and trips are also important. Transitional meetings can be used to review what the students or a particular student has been doing or performing. They also enable students to share news, talk about math challenges, reading a poem, or answering challenge questions. Discussion meetings enable the students to express their ideas such as in solving for problems, planning for class events such as