How I Strengthened My Class Community with a Breakfast Club
If you’re anything like me, you are continually switching things up in your classroom. I’m 12 years into this job and still trying new things. At times it can feel like I’m reinventing the wheel, but sometimes I stumble upon something that works so well in my classroom.
This year, it was Breakfast Club!
I wanted to find a way, without carving out a separate time in our schedule, to integrate more community building between myself and my students. I have quite a few quiet students this year. I have to be intentional about speaking to them every day or they could go home without ever speaking with an adult that day. On the other hand, I also have so many chatty kids that want to tell me about every aspect of their life, that it is easy not to notice I haven’t spoken to my quiet students because there have been children talking at me nonstop.
The logical choice felt like lunch bunch. But as much as I love my students, I don’t particularly enjoy hosting lunch bunches with them. I cherish my lunchtime as my time to destress and connect with my teacher besties.
As I thought about it more, I finally landed at breakfast.
My students pick up their breakfast from the cafeteria but have to eat it in the classroom. So, I decided to create Breakfast Club, which happens four days a week. Fridays are left open just in case we have a four-day week, or if I need to get some work done one morning while kids are eating.
Here’s how it works.
Each morning, I have a slide that I put up on my front board with the names of five students who get to eat their breakfast at my guided reading table with me. I assigned the days by purposely splitting up best friends so that some of the quieter students could form new friendships.
They all know their day of the week now, and I have even had parents tell me that their child refuses to miss school on their Breakfast Club day.
While at my back table, the students and I just chat while they eat, play with fidgets from my bin, or color with the coloring sheets I copied. I have about 35 minutes between my first students arriving with their breakfast and the school day officially starting, so it’s the perfect amount of time.
While we are at Breakfast Club, the rest of the class is eating at their seats and reading quietly.
Now, you might be thinking, “Why would I want to give up my quiet time in the morning?” But trust me, Breakfast Club has been a game-changer in my classroom. Not only does it give me a chance to connect with my students on a more personal level, but it also allows them to form new friendships and feel a sense of belonging in our classroom community.
Plus, it’s a great way to start the day off on the right foot. My students can ease into the day with some relaxed conversation and a calm environment.
If you decide to give Breakfast Club a try, come back and let me know how it went!
Until next time,