When you sign up for Along, you’re taking the extra step to make your students feel seen and understood. But how exactly does Along help you in that effort? How does the tool lead to stronger connections? It all comes down to the three types of content we provide: Reflection questions, classroom activities, and educator practice resources. Each of these research-informed categories provides a distinct path to developing fundamental relationships.
Teacher tip: You can find all three types of content under our Featured Collections, such as the Get to Know Your Student Collection as well in the 5 collections organized by the elements of Developmental Relationships.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways Along supports educators to build connections.
If we had to guess, we’d think this is probably the category you are most familiar with. Our research-informed questions are designed to help students work on self-reflection. A teacher opens the reflection loop by choosing a question from the Along Content Library, sharing their own response to the question and asking students to reply; then, students take some time to think and respond; lastly, the teacher reviews student reflections and gives a quick reply and thank you. By engaging with students through shared reflection,, teachers start a conversation with students, bond over shared interests, and see the world from their students’ point of view.
Teacher tip: When you record your reflection question, make sure to check out our tips and things to keep in mind that appear on the right side of the screen. They’re designed to help you record and connect with ease.
Looking for an example of a reflection question? Here’s one that helps students develop their own ability to identify, reflect on, and learn from mistakes: When is the last time you made a mistake? What did you do to learn from that mistake? By sharing your own reflection with students, they realize that everyone – even adults – makes mistakes and can learn from them
Unlike reflection questions that can be done anytime and from anywhere, classroom activities are designed to be done…well, in the classroom! Not only do these activities continue to strengthen bonds between teachers and students, they can also bolster the classroom community. Some examples of classroom activities are Making a Strengths Chain and Participating in “Colorful” Conversations.
At the top of each activity, we include the following helpful information: Who to use the activity with, grade level, and the context you can use it with. (Make sure to also look at the side of the sheet where we tell you prep time and activity time.) By incorporating classroom activities, you’re reaffirming some of the lessons and ideas that will arise during the reflection questions. These two pieces of content aren’t meant to be used as an either/or — but more as complements to one another.
In the same way that we ask students to self-reflect, we also provide resources for educators to reflect on their own teaching practices. From Setting SMART Goals to Focusing on 3 Types of Praise, these resources give educators a moment to step back and think about how they’re showing up in the classroom for their students as well as for their colleagues and how they’re building teacher-student relationships. They’re designed to incorporate the latest educational science and to be simple to follow in your day-to-day routines. They also have tips at the end that can even include ways to share your learnings with students.
Teacher tip: You don’t need to incorporate all the resources at once. We suggest reading through several until you find a resource that feels like it will be the most beneficial to you and your goals.
The Along tool is designed to bolster teacher-student relationships from every angle — from outside to inside the classroom and from student reflections to teacher growth. The more you and your class engage with these three categories, the easier and stronger connections become.
We’re excited for you to explore our collections and to experience the bonds ahead.