Digital Promise Signature Workspace
Sense of Belonging
This workspace includes some of the key factors and strategies that can contribute to and promote a student's sense of belonging in school.
Factors that Contribute to a sense of belonging
A Sense of Belonging allows us to feel included, respected, and supported in school.
Motivation is the desire and energy that guides behavior.
Learning is powerful when we learn with and from each other.
Emotions are complex psychological states stemming from a person's experiences.
In our society, there are many stereotypes that exist about the academic abilities of learners based on characteristics such as their race, gender, disability, and socioeconomic status.
Social Supports are the perception and presence of a support network available to help a student if needed.
The trauma that comes from experiencing adversity in childhood releases stress hormones that can lead to changes in the body and brain.
Safety is being and feeling physically and psychologically secure at home, at school, and within our neighborhood and larger community.
Primary Language is the language a person has been exposed to from birth.
A student's Math Learning Environment encompasses the opportunities provided by their home, school, and community that contribute to their development of math knowledge and skills.
Students build knowledge from their experiences both in and out of school.
Strategies that can promote sense of belonging
Students whose families are involved and feel valued within the school community are less likely to miss school, which research has shown can cause students to fall behind academically.
A strengths-based approach is one where educators intentionally identify, communicate, and harness students' assets, across many aspects of the whole child, in order to empower them to flourish.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners allows them to feel safe; a Sense of Belonging; and that their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs are supported.
As students solve problems in a group, they learn new strategies and practice communicating their mathematical thinking.
Selecting culturally responsive reading materials, including multicultural and diverse texts, is critical for supporting all students.
Teachers sharing math-to-self, math-to-math, and math-to-world connections model math schema building.
Journaling allows students to reflect on their thinking and feelings, process their learning, and connect new information to what they know, supporting their identity development and Sense of Belonging.
Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps foster a Sense of Belonging and mitigate Stereotype Threat.
Developing empathy in educators and in learners is an iterative process that requires taking the time to understand and honor others' perspectives.