Middle School Practices Community-Building Strategies
Avraham Sosa and Josh Melton, 7th Grade Teachers
On this week’s Parasha, Shemot, the Torah continues to highlight the construction of the Tabernacle. Why is building the Tabernacle so important? Community might be the answer. Shemot is about the formation of the Jewish people and Community. 
At Bernard Zell, we strive for our students to feel a sense of belonging and share common interests, experiences and goals. Gibush is the perfect time to create a space in which students and teachers are committed to a shared purpose and achieve community through frequent collaboration and social interaction.
Some community-building strategies that are implemented during gibush are: 
  • Morning Greeting - Students get to welcome each other to our Gibush meeting each day in a fun, unique way that exemplifies their creativity and silliness. This helps create a sense of belonging for each student as they are welcomed in by their peers.
  • The share of the day - Students get to express themselves, their interests, and their recent experiences through share questions that can range from upcoming weekend plans to “which bird would you be?” This allows our students who have seemingly grown up together to realize that even after all these years there is still so much more to learn about each other. Growing interest in scholarly subjects is integral in the classroom. Growing interest in each other is integral to the Gibush community.
  • Team Building Tuesdays - On Tuesdays we break up into groups either based on advisories, or randomly, to compete in friendly competitions that can range from drawing to hula hoop passing. This allows our students to see the sillier side in each other, as well as have shared experiences to call back on when they remember all the things we did in seventh grade.
  • Seventh-grade advisors are dedicated to planning to cultivate and reinforce positive interactions among Gibushim and students and it is an essential component of the community. 

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