It's important for teachers to create an environment that fosters a sense of community, where all students feel included, appreciated and where ideas are treated with respect.
One way to do that is to start the year with an amazing project/inquiry. In this grade 4/5 classroom students had the opportunity to build go-karts! This classroom turned into a workshop and let the students know that learning in this inquiry-based classroom would be different. Students responded immediately and couldn't wait to come to school everyday. Building go-karts in September helped to motivate and engage the students and it helped to build a community of learners. They quickly learned how to listen to each other, collaborate, problem solve and become critical thinkers.
More pictures and stories here!