At the conclusion of every Activity Block, two students have an opportunity to share their work with the large group and receive feedback. The Share is the soul of the Learning Cultures curriculum in that it contributes to a sense of group cohesion, provides a way for each student to develop their academic identity and self-competence, as well as providing additional group instruction focused on competencies outlined in formal curriculum and learning standards. The Share provides every student with a “chance to be smart,” as a second-grader once explained.
Teachers should make a share calendar for each class or subject area and list each students’ name at least twice during the month. The calendar provides advance notice to each child so that they can prepare for their turn to share. Since each child determines the focus of his or her Share, it is a format that builds autonomy.
The Share is not optional. Every child has the responsibility to share, and the Share is a non-negotiable obligation. If a student is initially shy or timid, the teacher or a fellow student can offer to stand with the student and take the lead while the student participates with support. But when the Share is a ritual conclusion to every Activity Block, and each child has two opportunities to share each month in each content area, all children quickly become comfortable sharing.
Courtesy, respect and support are required of all students at all times, especially during the Share. There is zero-tolerance for ridicule, disrespect or lack of attention.
The Share is a powerful force in shaping a cohesive classroom community because it cultivates a sense of relatedness and camaraderie amongst students. The Share gives each child a chance to practice civility, consideration, empathy, active listening, and support of peers. A daily dose of the Share helps cultivate a positive ethos within the classroom community.
There are three types of Shares within the Learning Cultures model—the Content Share, the Writing Share, and the Table Share.