Ideas for Establishing Classroom Culture Within Your Learning Environment and Beyond

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Listen and learn : Lecture

Christine Pinto  
Jessica Twomey  

Have you considered exploring a consistent collaboration between classes in different locations? Before you get started, it helps to establish common ground between classes. Come learn ideas for building a mission statement together, communicating with families about the collaboration, redefining rituals and maintaining a connection throughout the year.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees will need to have had a Google account established prior to this session.
Topic: Innovation in early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: Language arts, Science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In this session educators of young children will consider and explore possibilities for transforming learning as students and teachers wonder together:
What is happening beyond the space of our classroom?
What do schools look like for other children?
How can classrooms develop a shared foundation and culture that supports a more meaningful collaboration?
How can we redesign rituals and routines to include a broader definition of the world?
How do we create safe and beautiful multimedia spaces for children and teachers to connect daily?
In what ways can educators support an emergent curriculum by connecting global experts to collaborative learning experiences?

The purpose of this presentation is to expose teachers to possibilities for collaborating with another class from a location different than theirs. Attendees will walk away with ideas for building a mission statement together, communicating with families about the collaboration, redefining rituals, and maintaining a connection throughout the year. The value in maintaining hands-on approaches for learning is touched upon, alongside solutions on how to enhance the experiences by including technology integration. Utilizing the SAMR model and supporting research from NAEYC, teachers will explore a variety of options for transforming learning experiences for young children through digital tools. Options are provided for participants by offering resources for a variety of learning projects and experiences within their own classroom space, and exposing them to the possibilities of taking learning beyond their classroom by collaborating with another class (how to make that happen). Participants will be able to use ideas and resources in classroom, hybrid, or remote learning models.


- Foundational experiences for collaborating classes, such as building a mission statement, bringing awareness to families about the collaboration, redefining rituals, and creating class books will be described (between 10-20 minutes each) in terms of how to facilitate/deliver them and which accompanying tools work best. Personal experiences on behalf of these foundational experiences will also be shared, so that participants can get a sense of the impact that they had on children in the classroom (and a remote/hybrid setting).

- Participants will have access to templates/resources shared, and can explore their own copies of templates (on their own devices as we present) to use in their learning environments.

- Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation via the Q&A feature within Google Slides (we will pause between foundational experiences to answer some questions/address comments).

-Someone in the audience will have the opportunity to win a copy of our Innovating Play book by completing a brief form at the end of the session.

Supporting research

A joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College: Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8

Checklist for identifying exemplary uses of technology and interactive media for early learning The Pennsylvania Digital Media Literacy Project

Google Apps for Littles: Believe They Can by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler

Innovating Play: Reimagining Learning Through Meaningful Tech Integration by Jessica LaBar-Twomey and Christine Pinto

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Christine Pinto, Arcadia Unified School District
Jessica Twomey, Washington Township Schools