The Teacher Tip

Foster a Learning Environment Where Children Are Responsible for their Community

March 16, 2017

Adapted from A Mindset for Learning by Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz


In the most engaged and energized classrooms we have worked in, we see teachers who set up systems where children are accountable to their community. They are owners of the materials and space. This responsibility and ownership is as though the teacher is stating, “this space is ours, to use and to care for.” How can teachers foster a sense of ownership in the classroom?


Try this:

·       Encourage children to share through access to community supplies.

·       Assign children classroom jobs to help them boost the quality of their own learning environments.

·       Have children label their own materials and supplies.


Through these strategies, teachers can set up the message that we care about the space we work in. In addition to caring for a space, a teacher can set up the message that we care about the people in the space just as much. There are myriad ways to do this, through community meetings to problem-solving routines.

To learn more about A Mindset for Learning and to download a sample chapter, click here.

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