Question Detail

How do you build classroom culture?

Jul 25, 2013 4:39pm

What are some of your "tried and true" approaches for creating a learning environment that is safe, engaging and rigorous?

  • Arts / English Language Arts / Foreign Language / Math / Physical Education / Science / Social Studies / Technology
  • Pre K-12
  • Behavior / Class Culture / English Language Learners / Planning / Special Education


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    • Jul 30, 2013 7:33pm

      A big part of a solid classroom community is creating a learning environment that minimizes threats and distractions and promotes student learning. Here is a really cool simulator that allows you to examine your own learning environment. Check it out:!/scene/46

      Hope this helps!

      • Jul 27, 2013 5:05pm

        Hi Janie,
        Like Lily said, I also like to spend time at the beginning of the year getting to know my students and building relationships with them. For the classes I have taught (high school math), the curriculum is so extensive that I do have to jump right into academic concepts right away, so I try to create activities that will promote a positive culture while still addressing some part of the curriculum. One thing I like to do is have the students teach a lesson. They can work in pairs and they have to both present a lesson as well as make a worksheet with practice problems. The students really enjoy this both when they are the teachers as well as when their peers are presenting. I usually try to incorporate at least one of the problems that the students used in their worksheet on a test or quiz, which the students find very rewarding and I find that they take pride in seeing their work used in such a way.

        • Aug 6, 2013 4:59pm

          My class will spend time getting to know me as well as their peers. This summer I attended Arts Every Day. We focused on visual and theatre arts. I plan to spend time setting our classroom culture utilizing what I learned through collaboration with the arts. I want my students to know that their classroom is a safe place to be- mistakes don't exist only learning opportunities. That we get better by working together and that is how the world of work exists. Work hard, be safe, and no one hurt!! I can not wait to meet my class.

          • Aug 19, 2013 4:11pm

            I followed the link you shared-wow! What a cool teaching tool. So much of what happens in the classroom is connected to thoughtfully planning and creating the right learning environment for our students. I will definitely share this with all my teacher friends.
            Thanks again! :)

            • Jun 12, 2014 2:06pm

              I am currently in a Classroom Management class and have been learning how to create a good classroom culture. One of the the ideas that I read about is giving preferred activity time. When students have been working hard on curriculum all week it is always good have some time to have a fun activity with the kids. This time is not free time, but a fun learning time. It can be something as simple as playing a Scrabble game in a literacy class and using whatever topic you have been teaching that week to the students as a guide. For example if you have been talking about adjectives all week, have the students work in teams. The challenge is to only build words that are adjectives. The students will have to name the type of adjective they built in order to get the points. This gets the children working in teams, engaging in friendly competition, and learning in a relaxed atmosphere. To help create culture, the class has to work together all week to earn minutes in order to have P.A.T.. Check this out:

              Beth Lasley
              Master of Teaching Student

              • Aug 14, 2014 11:30pm

                I ensure that every child is seen each day. I shake their little hand and rehearse saying their name correctly. I treat them as an important member of my classroom community and remind them of their special gift that they only possess. There is great power in knowing that Juliana can speak two languages instead of one and that makes her unique. Community building activities as pair sharing, class meetings, and project based group activities naturally lend themselves to collaborative work.

                Establishing classroom expectations with the students' input is far more effective than the teacher alone coming up with these rules. Revisiting norms and expectations is a must!

                • Mar 21, 2015 4:06pm

                  One thing I think is really important in creating a safe learning environment is to NEVER let it slide when students are rude or mean to one another; show that it isn't acceptable and teach students ways to communicate in positive ways :)