middle school rules

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by uscsoccer, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. uscsoccer

    uscsoccer Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2012

    Here's my rough draft for my rules for my first group of middle schoolers. I'll be teaching ESL, probably 6th and 8th, intermediate-high intermediate ELD (English Language Development level) students.

    1. Respect yourself, your classmates, your teacher, and our materials/class environment. (I plan to do a guided discussion with them on what this exactly this looks like, and since the ESL standards include "speaking and listening for social interaction," this fits in!)

    2. Raise your hand and wait to be called on before speaking. (Exceptions being pair/group work, and choral response- I plan to have a cue word for this.)

    3. Be prepared and on task! Bring your books, pencils, homework, and other materials/assignments every day.

    4. Follow directions quickly and courteously.

    5. Stay seated unless told to move.

    6. No gum, cell phones/ipods/other electronics.

    Is there anything that you would add/change? I know that you're only *supposed* to have no more than five, according to most of what I've read, and the last one is school policy, but I wanted to reiterate it.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2012

    You probably don't need stay seated unless told to move as this would be part of following directions. Raising your hand could also be part of following directions...but you may want that one separate depending on how long your students have been in the states.
     
  4. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Aug 10, 2012

    I was going to make the same suggestion about the hand raising. I only require hand raising at certain times, so I consider that a part of "following directions" instead of its own rule.
     
  5. Avalon

    Avalon Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2012

    Besides gum, sunflower seeds and Sharpies are banned at our school site. I also require purse/bag/backpack to remain zipped/closed and completely under the desk during class. I personally allow water in a recloseable plastic bottle, since it can be very hot in CA.

    I also train my students in the SLANT active listening procedure - sit up straight, lean forward, active listening & thinking, note key points, and track the speaker. This includes hands folded on desks and feet under your desk. Slouching and sprawling are pretty common in middle schoolers if you allow them.

    Another school rule is to have hoods down in class. Also, I make sure they know the bell does not dismiss them, I do.
     
  6. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Too many rules and too wordy IMO.

    Rules should be straight to the point. Be respectful. Be prepared. You can elaborate, but the main rules should be sweet and to the point.

    Any rule that is a school rule should be left out. You don't to value one school rule over others. It sends the message that you won't be enforcing the other school rules to the same extend as this one.

    These things you have posted are procedures and should not be included.

    2. Raise your hand and wait to be called on before speaking. (Exceptions being pair/group work, and choral response- I plan to have a cue word for this.)

    4. Follow directions quickly and courteously.

    5. Stay seated unless told to move.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Our middle school uses school-wide Guidelines for Success instead of rules. I cover all of my "rules" when I teach my procedures. Everything else is in the student handbook.

    1. RESPECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
    2. BE RESPONSIBLE.
    3. DO YOUR BEST.
    4. SET POSITIVE GOALS.
    5. SEARCH FOR GOOD CHOICES.
     
  8. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Aug 15, 2012

    I have 2 rules: Be Prepared. Be Appropriate. We talk about what constitutes being prepared- enough sleep, HW done, etc and what it means to be appropriate.
     
  9. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Aug 15, 2012

    I have 3 rules:
    1. Respect yourself
    2. Respect others
    3. Respect this place
    then I go over the responsibilities of these rules, for ex, for rule 1 this would include coming to class prepared (respect yourself enough to ensure that you are prepared to learn and take advantage of free education) etc.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 15, 2012

    That's exactly what I do!
     
  11. Avery

    Avery Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2012

    I do this, too! Although my new rules poster has examples under each of the rules.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 15, 2012

    I like this one better about directions: 'follow directions the first time they're given.'

    I actually don't like 'do your best' because I can imagine a kid misbehaving but saying: 'look Miss, I'm usually really bad, I am doing my best, so I'm not breaking that rule".
     
  13. MissAH

    MissAH Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2012

    I have read that it is okay to use procedure type/specific rules to make a more direct point. For example, if you have a class that is notoriously pencil-less, it is better to make "Always bring your pencil" a rule instead of "always be prepared". You just have to make sure that you are doing so on purpose. Also, it is best for most rules to be in the positive "be on time" "Use appropriate language" unless again, you want to consciously make a point = "Absolutely No Teasing "
     
  14. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    Aug 17, 2012

    Our school has 4 school-wide rules.
    1. Be Safe
    2. Be Responsible
    3. Be Respectful
    4. Be a Learner

    All other "rules" can fall under one of those 4 rules.
    One of the things I started doing last year was embracing the CHAMPS classroom management model. The thing I heard/read that really stuck with me was "As adults we are told not to speed. That's the "rule". But, the government is kind enough to post the speed limit so we know the expectation. Now - everyone tends to break the expectation just a little now and then, but at least you know the expectation." So, last year, I posted expectations in my classroom.
    C = Conversation or the expected noise level
    H = Help or who you can talk to at any point (may be no one)
    A = Activity or what is going on in class (teacher instruction, group work, work time, test time, etc)
    M = Movement or what you are allowed to do
    P = Participation or how you should be acting

    Posting the expectations completely changed my classroom. I LOVED it! 4 rules and the expectations for different times throughout the class period!
     
  15. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    Aug 17, 2012

    I don't right any procedures down on my syllabus. My rules are simple, positive and all encompassing. I address important procedures at the start and work on them daily, sometimes with the kids even realizing they are learning a procedure. As the school year rolls on, I figure out what individual classes need and struggle with and address those procedures individually. If I have a class always forgetting their notebooks in their lockers because of the time the class falls and the bump up to lunch, then we discuss a procedure to help them fix it, like "go to your locker BEFORE lunch so you aren't rushing back" and then I stand at the door and catch them on their way to lunch to ask.

    Keep it simple to start and adjust as you learn the kids.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 17, 2012

    Our school has rules like this which are sufficiently vague. I tell them to obey the school rules and in addition to follow my classroom rules which are as follows:


    1. Listen quietly and stay seated when someone is speaking.
    2. Follow instructions for staying safe within the lab and classroom.
    3. Arrive at class prepared to work, and complete work fully and on time.
    4. Come to class prepared everyday with your binder, writing utensils and necessary materials.
    5. Be respectful of your fellow students, teachers, and visitors to the classroom.

    I use "be prepared to work" instead of "follow directions" because of our school climate. Students are treated more like adults who have work to complete, and if they want to complete it, it naturally follows that they will follow directions.
     
  17. uscsoccer

    uscsoccer Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2012

    Good point. I hadn't thought of that.
     
  18. uscsoccer

    uscsoccer Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2012

    Thanks for the feedback, all. It was very helpful! I've also spoken with my team and here are my revised rules:

    1. Respect yourself, others, and materials. (Includes one person speaking at a time, no teasing, etc.)

    2. Be ready to work (coming prepared, following directions, staying in your seat).

    3. Follow all school rules (cell phones, gum, bullying, etc.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  19. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    Aug 19, 2012

    Those look great. Short and to the point.
     
  20. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

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    Aug 21, 2012

    I always prefer the "use common sense" approach to actually presenting specific rules. We do a lot of "what if this happened" kind of problem solving early in the year, and at midyear.

    I always found that the problem with rules was that there are bound to be exceptions, or moments where someone does something they know I wouldn't approve of but that doesn't fall under blanket-style respect statements, or even times when I want a little rule breaking done (which, if I'm writing rules lists, becomes a mixed message). I've always favored scenario discussions and procedures over postable rules, and it's never caused me any trouble.
     

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