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Create Unity Amongst Students with a Classroom Chant

Social-emotional learning happens in countless moments throughout the school day. Sometimes it’s as simple as checking in on your students to see how they’re feeling before the lesson starts. Other times, it’s leading larger activities  like creating a classroom charter/chant that encourages students to co-create the classroom culture they show up in every day.

This year we’ve been utilizing Conscious Discipline’s* “Brain Smart Start” program in our classrooms. As part of this, students created a Classroom Charter* that’s used to inspire them before each school day and reinforce the classroom values the teacher and students want to bring to life. This unifying activity allows students to build community and belonging amongst one another. It also allows a class to grow together as a community with a shared purpose.

What this looks like in the classroom:

At the beginning of the year, each class or cohort creates its own charter. If you’re reading this well into this school, try it out at the beginning of the month or after the return of winter or spring break! This charter holds the values, feelings, and actions teachers and students want to be true of their class. Then, each day the class choral sings, chants, popcorn reads, or sola reads the charter. This is meant to be energizing and fun so get creative and make it your own.

Here’s an example of a classroom charter to get inspired!

Why this works:
The activity encourages us to unite as a school family and involves everyone doing it together. It builds connection, fosters a sense of safety, and releases endorphins.

Things to Consider:
-Ensure all voices are heard in the creation of the charter. Make it a fun, creative activity!
-Have all students sign the charter and make it visible in the classroom or in your student’s digital classroom portal.
-Students can also have a copy in their folder/binder as a reminder.

Lesson Plan for Teachers:
This PowerPoint lesson plan will guide students through creating a charter for their own class.

More about Conscious Discipline & the charter design:
Conscious Discipline has achieved CASEL’s SELect Program designation, recognizing Conscious Discipline as a leader in impactful social and emotional learning (SEL). The Conscious Discipline Brain Smart Start of the day consists of four activities: An activity to unite, an activity to connect, an activity to disengage stress and an activity to commit. Each of these activities is based on scientific research about optimal brain function and mind-body states. Together, these activities prime the brain for a day of optimal learning. The design of the charter comes from the RULER approach out of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Published on September 2, 2020

Read more stories about: Pay It Forward.

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