I'm making a Welcome to Our Classroom folder (Got the idea on one of the back to school threads) and I want to put in a page about our classroom rules/procedures. I'm trying make a top 5 list. I'm thinking...raise your hand to speak, treat others the way you would like to be treated, help each other or be a good friend??? I'm not sure why I'm blanking on this. Must be stressing out Plus it is way too last minute!
I'm also going to put in hallway rules, what to do when finished...Maybe something about gym changerooms? Apparently, my class is full of rambunctious boys who get into a fair amount of trouble. I figure this will be our go to resource for the first couple fo weeks at school. We can go over them together, quiz each other. Maybe I can make cards with different scenarios and the kids can try to answer them and if they don't know they can check their folders?
I have a slight power teacher revision that I use
1. Follow directions the first time you hear them
2. Raise your hand when you want to talk
3. Listen when your teacher is talking
4. Make wise choices
5. Keep your dear teacher happy
I was taught that when it comes to rules, less is more. My classroom only has 3.
1) Be prepared to learn.
2) Let the teacher teach.
3) Let others learn.
The general school rules cover everything else.
-raise your hand and wait to be called on to speak
-keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself
-use others' property only with permission
-walk in hallways
-no put downs or inappropriate language
The other stuff like what to do when finished are more procedures and not really rules. I think making too many rules is confusing to kids. Just make your rules general enough to apply to lots of situations.
Rules have to be written in clear terms. "Keep your dear teacher happy" or " Always make your dear teacher happy." is not clear. This could mean too many things such as:
Bring your teacher coffee, doughnut, apple, chocolate, notes from home, homework as assigned, etc.
Score proficient or advanced on all tests, do not lie or disrupt instruction, turn in paperwork on time with no excuses
As you can see the list of possible actions to 'please' the teacher is endless.
Respect things in the room.
We talk about what all that means, and how just about anything can fall under that. They'll often give me examples as to a rule being broken, and I can telll them where it fits. Often, THEY can really tell me where it fits.
Is my favorite rule. My students understand it as don't disappoint the teacher or anger her by misbehaving.
The beauty of rule number five is that it does cover so many aspects. Sorry you don't prefer it, but I love it and it is the one that sticks with my students the best. In fact, I have heard them say: "Joe, quit talking, you know Mrs. J would not be happy about you interrupting our group work about your game. Talk to us about it later."
P.S. I certainly wouldn't turn down chocolate or donuts, either!
I do not agree with "Make your dear teacher happy" The students are not in school to make us happy. They are there to learn in a positive place. If the kids are working to make us happy they are not working for the right reasons. They need to be working because it will help them learn. If they are behaving to make us happy then they are behaving for the wrong reasons...we need to be teaching them to CARE for the sake of what it right-- not what will make us happy. (climbing off of soap box now--sorry)
**sorry if I sounded mean..not trying to be.
I use the Responsive Classroom Approach...here are mine.
1. Take care of yourselves.
2. Take care of others.
3. Take care of the environment.
I teach the children what it means to take care of ourselves:
**do your best
Taking care of others could be:
*raising hand to speak
*walking instead of running
*hands to self
Taking care of environment could be:
*making things neat and organized
Less is more, when it comes to classroom rules, and I don't ever have more than three. Several examples above would work for me. I like to separate rules from procedures like raise your hand and take turns. I also like to have discussions with the kids, record their "rules" and then work together to distill them down to a few. We spend a week or so doing this and acting out/discussing what our rules would look like in various scenarios in the hall, playground, bus and classroom.
These are our school rules, as well as our classroom rules. Many things fall into each category (like keep you hands to yourself, raise your hand, etc) but allows us to have 3 clear rules that students can remember and understand. We discuss what each means and why it is important for us to act that way.
just a note about rule 5. If my students are making me happy, that means they are making the right choices, and I don't have to stop teaching to correct them. As a result, I'm a BETTER TEACHER! So, rule 5 is very appropriate when explained this way. I ALWAYS explain this to my parents at open house, and they very much appreciate what it means.