Classroom Community Builders – Activities for the First Day and Beyond
Students thrive in classrooms where they feel safe, welcome, and supported. Building a sense of community and teamwork is an effective means of facilitating student success.
Burns skillfully blends community-building activities with real classroom content, providing students with opportunities to practice language skills while acclimatizing to the classroom. While intended primarily for language arts and English as a second language classrooms, Burns’s activities readily adapt to a range of disciplines and age groups.
Beginning with a section on setting classroom and instructor expectations, Burns moves on to team-building exercises focused on lesson content. His section on getting-to-know-you activities is designed to foster a sense of belonging, while the five get-to-know-your-teacher exercises introduce you to your students in a fun, relaxed manner.
Supported by information on material requirements, time limits, and resources, Classroom Community Builders provides handouts and worksheets, available both within the book and online, offering new ideas to experienced and novice instructors alike.
About Walton Burns (Fairfield County, Connecticut Author)
I am a teacher and materials writer from Connecticut. I fell in love with teaching English in the Peace Corps in Vanuatu, an island chain in the South Pacific which was the basis for Bali Ha’i in South Pacific. I had the most amazing class of Francophone Melanesian students who were working to complete their high school degrees. They inspired me and led me to love teaching.
Since then I’ve worked around the world and taught a diverse range of students from Russian oil executives who needed to improve their English for business, to Kazakh scholarship recipients off to study in American universities, to Afghani high school students on the FLEX exchange program and middle-school children taking an extra-curricular speaking class.
I began selling lesson plans and activities on my blog in 2007. There appeared to be an actual and growing demand for my work. So I began seeking out some small professional gigs, mostly helping fellow teachers develop lessons for their classes. My school began using me for more and more lesson plan development and editing. After winning a few lesson plan contests, I came to the attention of the Nick Robinson Agency and was very successful there. I continue to work with Nick and ELTJam, as well as independently.
I publish my own books and lesson plans, write for publishers, copy-edit, and design activities and lesson plans for language schools, including online lessons as well as face to face classes. Clients for writing and editing have included Oxford University Press, Macmillan, Pearson, Compass Publishing, 2LTI Testing and New Horizons Language Schools.
Since 2014, I have been part of the leadership team of the Materials Writing Interest Section of the TESOL Association, the international association for English language professionals.