Who allows the class to choose rules?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissaG, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I am trying to plan a communities unit for the beginning of school. I cannot decide whether I want to have the kids help plan rules or not. I know that if I do let them help, I can guide it in the direction I want it, but I just don't know what direction I want to take with it. If you have your class help plan the rules, do you do it on the first day? If you have the class participate, do you have them plan rewards and consequences also? Any pros/cons and advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. Maestra Ita

    Maestra Ita Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    This was wrote to answer a question that I had....You might want read this...


    noreenk noreenk
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    Join Date: Jun 2007

    I like to brainstorm rules with my kids the first day of school. There are lots of different ways to do this (have each child write some down, work in small groups, or do it whole-group), but we usually vote on what we think is most important and see what rules we can group together. I don't like to overwhelm my students with a long list, so we usually pick 5-10 simply stated rules and I have students write them neatly for us to post in the classroom. Then I have all the students sign the chart to remind them that the rules are for and by them.
     
  4. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2007

    there's another active thread right now about classroom rules that you may want to search for. most of the time, rules boil down to (1) Be Safe, (2) Show Respect for Others, (3) Be Ready to Learn/Show Respect for Learning. kids will volunteer stuff like "Don't kick", "Don't say bad words", "Listen to the teacher" and you can either help them word it in more general terms or group their contributions to fit your rules. I would decide rules/consequences on my own or with my team.

    I do class rules the first day then send a note home the following day that says "Yesterday our class decided on a list of class rules as follows" then list the rewards/consequences and have parents sign the note. This way you have parents and students on the same page and you can go over this again at Meet the Teacher night or review it at parent conferences if you have a student that's struggling with behavior.
     
  5. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2007

    If these are kids who were there last year, start by having them tell you all the rules they already know for the school then decide what needs to be added.
    I like the idea of having everyone sign it on a big chart so they remember their responsibility!
     
  6. LionPride

    LionPride Companion

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I usually allow my students to come up with the classroom "rules". I am going to try something a little different this year. I am going to call them "Rights and Responsibilities" The "Rights" are the rules and "Responsibilities" are the things they should be doing.
    For example:
    Students have the Right to learn.
    Students have the Right to feel safe.
    Students have the right to be heard.

    Student responsibilities include:
    Getting to school on time.
    Completing all homework.

    Students will also be involved in coming up with a list of possible consequences.

    I try to tie these lessons into the chapter in our social studies book that deals with citizenship.
     
  7. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    The class and I come up with the rules together as well. I usually try and suggest that we state them postively and the kids like that. Then, we write them on a poster board and post them in our room. I put them in my back to school packet for the parents to read and review with their kids. The kids feel ownership when they help out.
     
  8. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I have my class generate rules. One day we talk about our hopes and dreams for the upcoming school year. The next day we talk about what needs to happen so we can reach our goals. I write down EVERY answer. Then we go through and combine them. We also rephrase things like "don't run" into "walk in the classroom". They are usually quite good at creating rules. Last year's class generated exactly what I would have made on my own - and I didn't help it that way at all, it was just what they said. (this comes from the responsive classroom approach you might be able to find something on their website www.responsiveclassroom.org)
     
  9. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2007

    My class follows a similar procedure for establishing rules. I did it once in the Fall and then once again in February, to "remind ourselves" how to act in school. We have a "round-table" format where the kids raise their hands with rules they think we should have on our list. My kids need the actual straight-forward rule written out (students have the right to be heard- that would mean nothing to my guys -they are very literal learners). Raise your hand and allow others to have their turn speaking, use your indoor voice in the classroom, share, treat others fairly etc. I have all of my kids sign the rules that we write (on chart paper) and then we hang it on the wall near our group work area. The cool thing is, I have a "sheriff" behavior management system in which one of the kids is the "sheriff" for the day - if someone breaks a rule, the sheriff will turn to the student who broke it and say, "don't forget rule #5, use your indoor voice." We haven't had ANY problems! The kids know that if they behave inappropriately, they certainly will not have their turn at sheriff, and it's their favorite thing to do!
     
  10. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I like the idea of rights and responsibilities. I will have the kids copy threee of each onto fancy paper to take home for signatures...theirs and their parents.

    I will use this the next day for a writing assignment where students will explain why it is important to have rights and responsibilities.
    This is a good way to assess if the "got it".

    Thanks for the ideas!!
    Keep them coming!!
     
  11. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I posted earlier about how we write the rules - until I read a post just now I forgot about the step after that. I type them up (usually there's 3 or 4) and send it home for parents to sign. I write them on chart paper and all of us in the room sign them. (and talk about what it means when you sign your name like that) Because I teach first, they each pick a rule and illustrate a picture showing what that rule looks like. I hang the signed rules and the pictures on my closet door (that can be seen from almost all parts of my room) and we refer to it to "remind ourselves" what the rules are. (especially at the beginning and again after long vacations)
     
  12. Daisyd

    Daisyd Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I'm using rights and responsibilities as well this year! My school requires us to do a chart: "My job as a student" and "My job as the teacher." I will use rights and responsibilities for both. I personally do not like to hand over all rule making to the kids. I really feel they need to know that I set the tone and am the leader in the class. I involve them in thinking through what the rule looks like: "How do we show respect for our classmates?" and also thinking through logical consequences of choices (both positive and negative).
     
  13. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I, too, hand out the rules. I have them tell me what each one looks like too but, yeah, I'm the boss. Sorry. That's the way it is.
     
  14. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2007

    My kids and I come up with rules at the beginning of the year, usually on the first day. They come up with so many of them and I write them on the chalkboard. Then we narrow them down and combine them until we have a smaller number. My kids were stuck on 8 last year...I really wanted to go smaller, but they insisted. Then I added my last one- Always try your BEST!! We also refer to them throughout the year. I have a poster with lines on it and I write the rules on it and hang it up. Then I type them and include them in the Back to School Night packet for parents. I also have a separate behavior chart packet of info that goes home and I expect it to be returned with signatures from the kid and the parents:)
     
  15. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2007

    I brainstormed last year as well and guided toward what I had found on a pre-made poster from the teacher store. I brought it in the next day and said, "look what I found." Of course, we added one or two to the bottom but it was great.
     
  16. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2007

    I have four rules in my classroom.

    1. Be Responsible
    2. Be Respectful
    3. Be Resourceful
    4. Be a Risk-Taker

    Then, as a class, we define each of the rules in positive terms, such as (Be Respectful) says thank you when someone holds the door open for them, picks up a classmates pencil that falls to the floor, always says nice/positive things to classmates, etc.

    I feel that by setting my rules up this way, I'm able to get the students to buy in to them more because they had a say in what the rules actually mean. Of course, it's easy to "guide" them to my way of thinking. :)
     
  17. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Jul 22, 2007

    As a new teacher, I don't feel at all ready to hand over the "rulemaking" to my students - even within limits and guidance from me. I'm still getting a feel for how I want my classroom to be. I'm still gaining confidence and understanding of what I want my room to look like. I'm not ready to hand that over to my students. I think I agree with some other posters in that it's okay for kids to know that you are the leader and there are guidlines you are setting up. There are ways to discuss those guidlines that show you had their interest in mind when you created them: Like asking what it feels like to be repected etc... but bottom line is I am the teacher, my rules stand.
     
  18. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 22, 2007

    Yeah, lol. :love: 'Tis I as well. And I apologize, but the kids do act out the rules and think of what may happen to the person they may be offending if not following that specific rule. I try to get them in other students' shoes. I state up front, "TREAT PEOPLE AS PEOPLE."
     

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