"Significant 72"

A Woodridge School District 68 F.O.C.U.S. Initiative

The Power of Relationships

The foundation for success in every great classroom is built upon strong relationships. Forming strong, caring relationships with and between students is a teacher's number one priority!

Every child comes into our classrooms with his/her own STORY.

  • S Strengths
  • T Tendencies
  • O Opportunities for growth
  • R Resources
  • Y Yearnings

Understanding each child’s story, background, prior knowledge, and what motivates them to excel is the best pre-assessment any teacher can have to start the new year.

Do you know enough about each student to teach them well?

Do your students know each other well enough to feel safe, comfortable and confident taking chances within the classroom?

What is "Significant 72"?

The first three days of school (72 hours) are a crucial period in the development of student to teacher & student to student relationships. Since relationship building is a teacher's number one responsibility, all instructional time during the opening 3 days should be spent on accomplishing the following:

3 Goals/3 Days

1. Teachers learn about each student.

2. Students learn about their teacher.

3. Students learn about each other.

72 Minutes a Month

Getting to know students is not something that can be accomplished in just three days- we all grow and change. Therefore, we suggest setting aside 72 minutes a month for additional activities to accomplish our goal of "forming strong, caring relationships with and between students".

72 Seconds?

Can you take the idea further? How many times do you partner students up in the classroom for cooperative learning activities or sharing? What if you spent 72 seconds (36 seconds each) on brief "get to know you" questions to break the ice?

Examples of 72 Second Relationship Builder sentence starters:

  • My favorite kind of pizza is...
  • On a hot day, my favorite flavor of ice cream to eat is...
  • On a snowy day, my favorite thing to do is...
  • When I have a free afternoon, I like to...

Three Day Weekend? Week off of School?

A lot happens in a child's life over a three day weekend and during extended time off from school like Thanksgiving break, winter break or spring break. Don't forget to start school back up with Significant 72 activities to reunite students and get them excited to be back working with their teacher and friends.

React, Reflect, Revamp

Does every child have a friend?

In studies looking at what happens to students when they move schools, the single greatest predictor of subsequent success is whether the students make a friend in the first month.

  • Galton et al., 2000; Pratt and George, 2005

  • React: What is your initial reaction to this research?
  • Reflect: What practices do you utilize in your classroom to enhance friendship development?
  • Revamp: How can you revamp your classroom environment to better foster friendship development and meet the needs of your students based on this research?

  • PS

    If you work in a transient school, where you get new students consistently, what can you do to help each child make a friend?


    John Hattie's research indicates that 80% of the feedback students receive each day is from their peers. Without strong, caring relationships with peers, what is that feedback likely to be?

    • React: What is you initial reaction to this research?
    • Reflect: What does peer feedback look like in your classroom?
    • Revamp: How can you revamp your classroom to better meet the long term needs of your students based on this research?

    Want "Significant 72" ideas for your classroom?

    Visit the Padlet made by Woodridge District 68 staff in the fall of 2013 for ideas on implementing #Sig72 during the first three days of school. Tip: Click on download as PDF to see the ideas in a clear format.


    For More Significant 72 Information:

    Greg Wolcott

    Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

    Woodridge School District 68

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