Saturday, 12 December 2015

Getting Organised with Class Rules

Before I begin about another idea you might want to consider for your new class in 2016 I wanted to make mention of a blog change...

Yes, it's official that you can access this blog now direct from the following address http://www.missjennysclassroom.com - Yay! It is so much easier to remember!

Okay, time to talk about what you are here to read about!

Class rules. Two words and yet the entire year you have with your class can be greatly influenced by how you set up and maintain your classroom rules.You certainly do not want to be steering staff or parents away from your room because the behaviour is out of control.

Firstly, no plan is fool-proof. There will always be one (or more) students who will push you to the limit - hopefully by the end of the year they will have a healthy respect for you (even if they don't like you).

I saw an idea on Pinterest about having an "I Can..." rules chart. I liked the idea because it wasn't just about what they could and couldn't do. Nothing worse, in my opinion, then having a list of rules starting with DO or DON'T.  The idea behind "I can" really puts the responsibility for the behaviour back where it belongs - with the students.

I made up a chart that was similar to the one on Pinterest. At this point please learn from my mistake!

I used 
* an A2 piece of yellow cardboard
* 2 sheets of A3 white cartridge paper (it's thicker than standard A3)
* a dark blue texta
* clipart I had purchased from ScrappinDoodles
* glue

How I put it together
* ruled the lines with blue texta onto the white paper (landscape orientation). I got about 4 lines per sheet.
* glued the 2 white sheets together
* glued white sheets onto the yellow cardboard in the centre (portrait orientation)
* cut out the pictures leaving a thin border
* glued on the pictures where I thought that looked good

* laminated it - here's where I went wrong. If you are going to laminate something you will be writing on and using more than once - make sure you laminate it with GLOSS and not MATT - Matt is a pain to clean off at the end of the year!

I prefer to write on it using permanent textas as it will last the year. It can be cleaned off (if you laminated with gloss) with a bit of eucalyptus oil (or metho).

How we got the rules
The rules above were from a grade 2/3 class. They brainstormed all the ideas and we wrote them on the interactive whiteboard. As a class we then matched up statements that were the same and worded them to be "I can..." friendly.

Notice that the last point is written in a slightly different blue? That's because it was added. We read lots of social stories and after reading Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal - they voted to added it. We probably should have worded it better to be "I can..." friendly though in Hindsight. Maybe "I can squeal only when it is a big deal!".

This was displayed above a whiteboard and referred to often. That's an important part about class rules. Don't just put them together, stick them on the wall, and then forget about them - make them own their own rules but referring to them when they aren't showing that they can. 


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