My rules and procedures

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Peregrin5, Sep 30, 2011.

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  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    New teacher here again. So I made a list of rules and procedures and I wanted to know what you guys thought of them.

    Here are my rules:

    1. There will be NO throwing things in this class: If you need to pass something to someone, hand it them gently.

    2. Please do not talk without being called on: We are here to learn, and it is hard to learn when everyone is talking over everyone else. Respect your peers and your teacher.

    3. Please do not get up without asking or unless you are told to: If you’re moving around the room, the attention in the room is on YOU instead of on what we’re learning. It’s harder for everyone else to learn if you’re moving around.

    If you need to get up to use the pencil sharpener or use the bathroom, raise your hand and give me the “thumbs up” sign. If I point to you and nod, you can get up and use the pencil sharpener, or go to the bathroom. (Remember to grab a bathroom pass.)

    IF YOU BREAK A RULE – You will be spending lunch with me. THIS CAN ADD UP IF YOU KEEP BREAKING RULES! Grab your lunch and come immediately to class. You will have to be in the classroom by at least 10 minutes after lunch starts.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    And here are my procedures. I have a LOT of them, and there are a LOT more to come, as I can think of them and remember them:

    WAIT outside until the 5 minute bell rings; I will let you in.

    When you enter the room you will take out your notebooks and writing utensils ONLY out of your backpack, and place your back-pack UNDER your desk.

    When that is finished begin WORKING on the Bell-Ringer on the board.

    You may confer with your partner about the bell-ringer question in a LOW VOLUME. If it seems that the class cannot work constructively at a low volume with each other, the bell-ringer will be done in SILENCE.

    The person next to you is your PARTNER. Periodically you will work with him or her when asked to. Do NOT talk to the people behind you or in front of you.

    If you do not have all of your materials you may borrow scratch paper and pencils from the teacher after raising your hand and explaining the situation.

    There are DESIGNATED paper-passers. They will be the only people to stand up and pass out papers to each person when asked to. Do NOT come to the front to grab a paper, or stand from your seat while papers are being passed out.

    I NEVER accept answers that are being called out. Also do NOT raise your hand to answer a question. I will call on who to answer on my own.

    Raise a PINKY if you need to sharpen your pencil. I will point at you and nod if you can go. If I make a palm-down gesture, it means to wait.

    Raise a THUMBS UP if you need to use the bathroom. I will point at you and nod if you can go. If I make a palm-down gesture it means to wait.

    Raise your HAND ONLY IF you have a QUESTION. If I do not call on you after one minute, put your hand down and write down the question in your notebook. I will answer it after class.

    When I hold up a finger and say “RULE 1!” everyone has to hold up their index finger too and repeat Rule 1 from the syllabus or their memory. Do the same for Rule 2 and Rule 3.

    For the first two weeks of class if you break a rule, I will write your name on the board. This will count as a warning. I may or may not say anything in order to not disrupt class.

    If you break the rule again I will put a tally next to your name. This means 1 lunch detention.

    After two lunch detentions I will give you an after-school detention. This is signified by an A after the tallies next to your name. 1 After-School Detention can be traded for two lunch detentions if you can’t come after school. If you want to trade tell me AFTER class.

    When I want SILENCE, I will ring a bell. I will TIME how long it takes for it to become silent after the bell. If its faster than last time or under 5 seconds, I will give everyone a reward. If it’s longer than 20 seconds, I will keep the class in 1 minute for every second past 20 seconds after class.

    After-Class Minutes do not start until everyone is SILENT and not packing up. I will set the timer.

    When I say “I want your ‘FIST’!” I want you to ‘Face Forward’, ‘I‘S up front’, ‘Sit up straight’, and to ‘Track the speaker’: pump your fist in the air and yell “FALCON PUNCHHHH!” (tentative).

    On days that homework is due, I will say after the Bell-Ringer to “Pass your homework forward”. I will time how long it takes to do this. If you beat your time or it is under 10 seconds everyone gets a reward!

    I have a lot more I just need to remember them…. >>
     
  4. Mathemagician

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    I'm sorry, but this seems a bit much to me....especially falcon punch haha.

    And memorizing rules?

    I think you are setting yourself up for failure by having such a strict discipline code, and if you can't follow through on all of it, you might as well not have any of it.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well these are all tentative I guess. I would like to get feedback on it.

    There are only three rules, but I may not have them memorize it. I might ask a student to read it aloud from her syllabus and see if that is effective.

    And why might I not be able to follow through on my procedures? (barring school or district rules)
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    By the way, the reinforcement of procedures is not followed by any consequence, only the rules are.

    If a procedure is broken, the students will be reminded of it, or asked to restate the procedure in question. (or drilled on it with a timer)
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that some of your rules are more like procedures and vice versa.

    When I see your rules, I'm thinking, "Are those really the things that you're most worried about?" Throwing things, talking without being called on, and getting up without permission....Those aren't the things that are going to make or break your classroom community. Respect, positive talk, integrity, patience, flexibility, and honesty....Those are the things that will. I would encourage you to consider rules that are much more meaningful and much less shallow than the ones you've got. Ask students to speak with good purpose (no put-downs, constructive words and advice, answers and questions that they really mean), to be patient with each other and with you, and to show respect to everyone/everything in the classroom environment. Tell them that they shouldn't lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate anyone who does. Tell them about how important it is to be motivated and motivating, to cooperate with their classmates, to develop a sense of responsibility....All those things are more important than "Don't throw things".

    I also think that there shouldn't be penalties like detention for forgetting a procedure. With all the hand signals and whatnot, I'm not sure that even your most well-intentioned students are going to figure out all your procedures in a timely manner. I think that you might be setting them up for failure in that way.

    My advice to you is to choose a few procedures to introduce, introduce them, maybe make some signs to display in the classroom as visual cues/reminders, and make sure the students get those before you introduce more procedures. It sounds like you've got a very specific idea in mind about how things in your classroom should happen, and that's great, but I'll just caution you to not get so caught up in your procedures that you overwhelm your students with a million procedures. You'll end up with either anarchy or a mutiny.

    EDIT: I just read your post about broken procedures resulting in reminders, requests to restate, or timed drills. I strongly advise against any sort of timed drill. It seems so militaristic. I don't see most students being very responsive to that sort of thing.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You certainly have great ideas, but I think we're differing in the way we define 'rules'. For instance, my rules are things I just will not tolerate in my classroom. They are a means of classroom management: they are easily understood and have discrete consequences for breaking them.

    I want my meaning to be clear. The things you mention are certainly more important than not throwing things, and such but they are also very vague. Most students won't understand what you mean by 'stay motivated' or 'speak with good purpose'. I think once my classroom is a safe and productive learning environment (with no pencils flying through the air or people getting up in the middle of instruction or interjecting while someone else is presenting) I can begin to work on the things you mentioned. I think those are things that should be elicited through a teachers instruction.

    I believe that some of the most important jobs a teacher has is to motivate students and guide them into being respected high-achieving individuals, but if a child doesn't follow the rules you mention, I find it hard to imagine a consequence applicable by the teacher for that behavior.

    By the way, visual cues for procedures is a great idea! I'm going to make note of that.

    As for the number of them, they might seem numerous, but a lot of them are actually just part of one big procedure. For instance the beginning of class procedure includes waiting for the 5 minute bell, sitting down, taking out their materials, putting away their backpack, and working on the Bell-Ringer with their partner. I agree that if hit all at once with these they might get confused. Perhaps if I introduce them to my procedures a bit at a time throughout the first week of school. Practice for these procedures is also necessary.

    As for the drilling, I wasn't really thinking of militaristic drilling. More like, a competitive thing, where the students are motivated to improve to beat their own past score. For instance, have students make a raucous noise and then ding the bell and see how long it took for complete silence. Improvement in their time or an exceptional time would merit a reward of some kind. Simply put, I think I'd frame it as a game rather than a drill.
     
  9. INteacher

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    WOW ~ I got confused after reading about four of those :dizzy: Really Wow, I don't think even the greatest students could remember and do all of those things. Personally, I think you will be creating a classroom atomsphere where your students will be afraid to speak, ask questions or offer input. And, will you have to spend your lunch with students you assign to lunch dention?
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm of the opinion that if you set rules that pertain to respect and kindness, the other things will fall into place. Kids don't throw pencils at kids that they care about. They don't shout over the teacher they respect. You don't need rules about the little stuff when you have rules about the big stuff.

    As for kids not understanding what it means to speak with good purpose, that's just untrue. We are teachers. We teach. We teach all sorts of things, not just Math or Reading or Spanish. We teach kids how to be good citizens of the world. We teach them, explicitly, how to speak with good purpose. We use lessons and Paideias to have a dialog about exactly what it means to speak with good purpose or to take ownership. It's not like we just say, "Oh hey everyone, you need to speak with good purpose in my classroom. Now take out a piece of paper so we can get started with class." No, we explicitly teach what we mean and what we expect. Kids will learn what we mean and what we expect, and they'll do it.

    We need to hold our students to a higher standard. What kind of standard are we holding them to when the most we can expect from them is that they don't throw things? Honestly, that's a pretty low bar. Might even have to dig a little to get to that one. Kids don't rise up to meet low expectations. We need to help them rise up. It's our job, more than anything else we do.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I hope that's not the case. I was just told by all my teachers and in some of the advice on this forum to have clear procedures for everything I could think of.

    And right now I'm kind of being scared straight watching my master teacher and other new teachers losing control of their classes because the kids are all moving around talking and saying rude things while the teacher is trying to teach and other things. I'm doing my best to find solutions for that.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    As with everything, there must be a balance. Clarity is always best and will never hurt you. However, too many procedures gets confusing and takes away from the content that you're trying to teach and the relationships you're trying to build. I don't think you should eliminate your procedures, but I do think you should edit them.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I fully adhere to holding students to higher standards. However simply because my rules are simple, doesn't mean that I expect less of them.

    In my case I am teaching students to be good scientists. To evaluate the evidence of things with their own minds and form their own meaningful conclusions rather than accept what has been told to them is the basic tenet of science. Exploration, curiosity, and thoughtfulness are all a part of that.

    However, these are 7th graders from a low social-status community. Many of them grew up with parents who didn't care about them, and as such have had little experience with treating their peers and teachers with respect and kindness. I will do my best to teach them of course, but in a classroom that is wrapped up in continuous disturbances and there is no control of safety, the teachers I've observed can barely teach them about the components of a cell, much less respect and kindness.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So I'm thinking about what rules and procedures I have in my classroom. I'll share what I have and maybe that will help you see where I'm coming from.

    For starters, we don't really have rules in my class. We have a social contract. It's an agreement among everyone in the class, including me. We write the terms of our social contract on a big poster and display it in the room for the entire year. Our social contract is based on six pillars: respect, responsibility, motivation, cooperation, image, and academic honesty. The students come up with the terms of the contract, including what they need me to do for them, what they need to do for each other, and what they need to do for me. Each class comes up with its own contract but the terms are almost always very, very similar. Every contract always has stuff about encouraging others, trying our best, being understanding when someone is having a bad day, using planners, giving positive/constructive feedback, and the golden rule. If someone does something that violates the terms of the contract, that person can expect to be called out on it, after which point that person will correct their own behavior. It works for us.

    As for my procedures, there are several. I expect a particular header on every paper that they give me, and I have a little poster that looks like a sheet of paper with the header at the top to serve as a visual reminder to them. I expect that they place their completed work into the class basket. I expect that they greet me in the target language (I teach a foreign language) when I take attendance. I expect that they give me their athletic grade check sheets at the beginning of class. I expect that they log in to our class website as soon as they enter the room on days we are in the lab. In my 3rd period class, I expect students to turn on the Promethean board (which is also the TV) before class starts so that we can watch the morning announcements. I didn't make a huge list of these rules; rather, I just taught them as they came up and reinforced them through frequent reminders for the first few weeks of school. They still need some reminders about some things, but they're almost to the point where our class is fully autonomous.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I couldn't even read all the rules...EEEK!:eek: they are somewhat too uber specific, and many are procedures, not rules. Boil down the most important behaviors to 5 or 6 rules...the rest are either encompassed in those rules or are procedures which can be taught.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I teach in an inner-city school with an extremely intense gang presence. Violence, drugs, and prostitution happen at my school every day. Believe me when I say that I know what it's like to work with low-SES kids. Please believe me also when I say that I think it's a cop out to suggest or imply that low-SES kids who haven't been held to high expectations in the past shouldn't be held to higher expectations now. If not now, when? If not us, who?

    "Don't throw things" is not about respect. It's about submitting to authority. You're not teaching any sort of personal accountability or responsibility with that rule. You're not teaching kids that they are worth more than that, that they have more control over their own actions and behaviors than simply refraining from throwing objects. You're not giving them the credit and the trust they deserve. You're insulting them and keeping them down, below the bar, in a place where no one ever expects anything from them because no one has ever expected anything from them. Frankly, you're just perpetuating the problem. I'm not trying to be mean, but I am trying to get my point across. Please don't treat your low-SES kids like they can't do better, think bigger, learn more, because you're wrong.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    After class minutes? 1 minute for each second after 20?

    Is your intent to make another teacher punish them for being late and to have another teacher think poorly of them for being late so that they have a gang of teachers against them?

    Our kids can barely get from class to class in the passing time due to the size of the school and the length of the passing time. You hold them up for 1 minute or make the ask questions after class or trade detentions after class, you might as well just ask them to serve extra detentions for these things because tardy will give them detentions in the next class.

    Not allowing students to ask questions and making them write it down and ask later can really hinder learning. The question may very well be something that will make or break the understanding for the student. Now, if it is a habitual hand raiser that talks about completely unrealted things, you need to deal with that individual seperately, but you are teaching students using a lesson. Their understanding is crucial and many times it means clarifying right then.
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    You really need to read some classroom management books that your university must have not exposed you to. I highly reccomend CHAMPs by Randy Sprick, Love and Logic, and Whole Brain Teaching.

    The CHAMPs book clearly defines class rules and procedures. It's a thick book, but it's an easy read.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What's your justification for this one?
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well to be honest, I would probably have had the same rules for my high-SES kids, but from your previous post, I'm beginning to get a clearer idea of what you're talking about.

    However, what do I do if a student constantly and continuously breaks the contract?
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I use cold-calling. I call students from my seating chart and award them participation points for giving me a thoughtful answer. Hand raising is to be solely for ASKING questions. Not answering.
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yeah, I anticipated that as well. I've been watching my master teacher and she uses after class minutes. It might not be such a good idea.

    As for the hand raising thing, I definitely would only cease from answering a students question at a time when the question would be disruptive or I know that the student is a habitual hand-raiser.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It wouldn't likely get to a point where a student "constantly and consistently" violates the contract. Because it's a social contract that the class designed, the class is usually very good about policing itself. They don't want to be picked on, so they'll call out someone who is picking on someone else. They don't want me to forget to put stickers on their papers (I do have one class who wants stickers as a form of positive feedback from me, they were very explicit about that request and I agreed to it, so it's on the contract), so they'll remind me if I do. When it comes to social contracts, peer pressure is a GOOD thing.

    For the few kids who don't give a rat's patoot about the contract or the class (and there are always a few), you go through your regular progressive discipline, just like you would with other rules.

    First offense: conference with the kid
    Second offense: call home
    Third and subsequent offenses: referral to counselor or dean
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    For many of our ESL and special ed kids, they need a wide berth when it comes to participating in class. They want to be sure about an answer before they give it, because they don't want to make a mistake or look stupid in front of their peers. It can absolutely destroy some kids to make mistakes in front of their peers, and this can be especially devastating for your kids who are just learning English or who have been struggling with special ed issues. It's a much better practice to allow students to volunteer answers at least sometimes, let them get a few right answers in, build up their confidence so that you can help them feel safe in your classroom. The number one hindrance to learning, in my opinion, is fear. You can't learn anything if you're feeling unsafe. I encourage you to rethink this one.
     
  25. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would like more ideas about things students would request of me as a teacher. I would imagine on the first day of school during the drafting of this contract, students would be shy and unsure what they would expect of me. I would have to prompt them with some examples, and also know where to draw the line.

    Also, I know its the thing you're picking on the most, but I really CAN'T stand things being thrown in my class. It really is my tick and one thing that bugs me. Should I mention that in the contract or stick to abstract things? How should I justify things not being thrown in my class.
     
  26. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    They look interesting. I read Teach like A Champ by Doug Lemov and I thought it was a great book.

    I've just encountered WBT on this forum today, so I'll definitely look into it.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Anyof the following would cover flying supplies:

    Keep hands, feet, and materials to yourself.

    Treat others with respect.

    Use materials with respect.
     
  28. JustMe

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    I don't have rules but basic guidelines for success, which I find work quite nicely. What you have shared just feels too much. It might be fun and informative to simply google rules and procedures for middle school and enjoy learning how other classrooms are managed. :)
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We don't make the contract on the first day. We make it at the end of the first week or the beginning of the second week, after we've done team-building activities and gotten to know each other.

    As for the not throwing things, you can absolutely make sure that's in the contract. The thing is, though, that you're not writing the contract--THEY are. You just need to do some skillful maneuvering and subtle redirecting to make sure that they include the absolute must-haves. For me, those are no putdowns, always trying your best, and speaking with good purpose. If you want to add "Don't throw things", find a way to get your kids to buy into that and make them think that it was their idea to put it in the contract. If they can't do it on their own, then have a quick "time-out" and tell them that you have this one thing that you think is very important how would they feel about putting it on the contract? They'll almost certainly agree if they see the value in the contract in the first place, so you just need to sell it.

    Here's some good info about social contracts. I have more if you need it.

    http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ceed/publications/tipsheets/preschoolbehaviortipsheets/social.pdf

    http://teacherweb.com/TX/PurpleSageElementary/henrichs/Owl-SC.jpg

    If you do a Google Image search for "classroom social contracts", you'll see what they look like.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You likely won't have to prompt them with examples at all. They pretty much know what they want from a teacher, or at least what they don't want, and can usually find a way to verbalize it. Put them into small groups and give them these questions, then discuss the answers as a class. Have one student scribe (not you!--remember, they need to have some ownership when it comes to the contract) write the approved terms onto the contract after a quick vote. (Ask them to raise their hand if they agree with putting "respect others' space and boundaries" on the contract, then the scribe writes it on there when most agree.)

    1. How should students treat each other in our class?
    2. How should the teacher treat the students in our class?
    3. How should the students treat the teacher in our class?

    In general, these are the things that students want from me: Be prepared for class, don't have a lot of wasted time at the beginning or end of class, don't be absent all the time, don't play favorites, give lots of good feedback (including stickers, haha), be flexible and let us turn in our assignments late if we have an emergency, remind us to use our planners, remind us about upcoming assignments and tests, and talk to us before you accuse us of something bad (usually cheating is the one they mention). I ask that they try to phrase their statements positively whenever possible.
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Awesome! I like it. And the Intervention Tip Sheet you provided is amazing.

    One question I have is, how should I get students to be serious about forming their contract. I can anticipate that there will be issues with students who do not take it seriously and demand unrealistic things.
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2011

    You just have to sell it. Let them know that this is their opportunity to create their own rules, rather than just having the teacher tell them what to do. Tell them what the social contract is, what it's meant to do, and how it will be used. Give them clear instructions about how to answer those three questions. Go ahead and tell them that if they choose not to take this activity seriously, you will nix the whole thing and you yourself will create the rules that they need to follow. Emphasize that whether they have a social contract or rules set by you is THEIR choice.

    You will have students who don't take it seriously. You need to shut that down. As they are in their small groups, walk around and monitor them. If you notice one kid or group making up outlandish demands, stop and talk to them. Even something as simple as a pointed, "Really?." can be enough to let them know that you don't find it amusing. Tell them to get back on track and remind them about what happens if the class can't handle the responsibility of creating their own social contract. Then follow through on that. If the class can't handle it, be prepared with your own list of rules and let them know that they have lost their opportunity to provide input. (You might also let them know that you'd be willing to revisit the issue later in the coming weeks if they can show you through their behavior that they are mature enough to handle the responsibility of trying again to create a social contract.)
     
  33. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Sep 30, 2011

    You know who this really hurts and upsets the most? The students that are the good kids who have no social control over the ones that cause the problems.

    I'm happy to hear you are thinking about it because just because someone uses it, doesn't mean it is good.

    You may want to pick your master teacher's brain with questions amout impact and what it does to those students that are not the ones causing the problem. Bet she/he is waiting for the good ones to control the bad ones. And if it continues to happen over and over, the method isn't effective.

    My friends child had panic attacks because of a teacher using this method. This was a straight laced, excellent student that was a rule follower. The anxiety that was created by this method impacted her next class because emotionally it caused havoc. She was low on the social totem pole so had no pull with the offenders.
     
  34. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Hm. Whole class punishment does seem to be unfair. However, might it be effective to frame one person's behavior in the light of how it is affecting the rest of the class? Kids generally stop misbehaving when they realize that their behavior is making everyone else ****** off at them, but that may not justify the unfairness...
     
  35. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 1, 2011

    I will say that last year, I had one really rough group. It was funny, because it was made up of mostly kids I had in my other classes, and those classes were great, but the mix of kids in this class spelled disaster.

    After about 6 weeks, I had had enough and I did write up specific rules and consequences for them. They included:

    - showing up on time. The kids in this class were notoriously late (although they all showed up for my other class on time)

    - not getting up to throw something away, sharpen a pencil, etc., while I was talking. They could wait until I was finished.

    - not talking during the lesson. I had no problems with them chatting while they are doing their work, but while I was teaching, it was getting out of control. They needed to raise their hand if they wanted to speak or had a question.

    - inappropriate or hurtful language would not be tolerated. These kids were MEAN to each other.

    My consequences were:

    - a warning
    - a conference
    - being asked to work in the hall. If the student stayed outside the door, he/she would get full credit for the day as well as be marked present. If he/she chose to leave, I wouldn't accept any work handed in after they were asked to leave the room and they would be marked absent.
    - phone call home.
    - being sent to the office.

    We read the rules together every. day. I'm not one for hard and fast rules that are set in stone, but this was the ONLY way that I have any kind of control in the classroom. It worked.
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2011

    Peregrin, I think that successful teaching-- particularly in high school-- is less about creating a long list of rules than creating an atmosphere where learning can occur.

    My kids do occasionally break one of your rules. And either it's a non-issue or it's a quick laugh. It's not detention. If a kid is speaking as I speak, I stop and stare until he or she notices. I get an apology and the class continues.

    I think it's less a question of the details, and more a question of the big picture. Create the right atmosphere and the rest is a non-isssue.

    Also, keep in mind that you will have to enforce every rule, every time. Too many rules, and it's going to be all about record keeping in your class-- you're going to get swallowed up in managment and will lose focus on your teaching.
     
  37. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Oct 1, 2011

    We have 4 school-wide classroom rules.

    Be respectful.
    Be prompt.
    Be prepared.
    Be productive.

    They work really well... and cover a multitude of the little things that happen in a classroom.
     
  38. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Oct 1, 2011

    Mine are Be safe, be respectful, be responsible.

    This pretty much covers everything. As for procedures, they need to be fluid and flexible. Something that works in October may not work in January. Things that work on Monday might not work on Wednesday. A procedure you need in May may not be needed in February.

    The important thing is that all of your procedures are effectively taught and explained to the students. When those procedures change, those changes need to be effectively taught as well.
     
  39. worrywart

    worrywart Companion

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    Oct 1, 2011

    I think that you need to focus your attention more on what your students are doing/will do right than what they are doing wrong. This will help build a classroom environment that is positive for both you and them.
     
  40. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is where I think you and many others are getting confused. I have only three rules. They are:

    Do not throw things.
    Do not speak out of turn.
    Do not get up without permission.

    As well as whatever other school-wide rules there are.

    The rest of them are procedures which is basically how things might be done in my classroom. They aren't misbehaving or at any fault if they break a procedure. They simply need reminding of the procedure. There are no consequences for breaking the procedures.
     
  41. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Oct 1, 2011

    Can I offer a couple of suggestions regarding procedures? I can see where you are coming from in that you want there to be structure in your classroom. I am in my fifth year teaching and when I started out, I had the same mindset that you seem to have. I typed out two pages worth of procedures (not rules) and we read over them the first day of school. However, I soon realized that whenever it came time to put a specific procedure into practice, the kids would still have no idea what to do (I teach middle school). It was too much information and they weren't able to process it. So, over the years my approach to using procedures in my classroom has changed considerably.

    First, I realized that dumping all of this information on them all at once is kind of ridiculous. Instead, I now model and teach each procedure as it is needed. For example, I don't talk about what to do if you are absent until the first absent kid returns to school the next day. It takes about 3 weeks of gradual introduction, but it sticks with them the whole year. On the first day of school, the only thing I teach them is how I get their attention, what to do if they need to use the bathroom, and how we pass out and collect papers. And we do each one as they become necessary.

    Another thing I do before the beginning of every school year is sit down and think about which procedures are actually important to a functioning classroom. For example, I tried to do the hand signal thing for the bathroom, but since kids are changing teachers all day long they had a hard time remembering to use it only in my classroom. Now, I let them use the restroom as long as it is not during direct instruction. They have to sign in and out and take the pass. I realized that at this age, I don't really need to hear them ask to go potty :) They are able to be responsible about bathroom use, and if they start to abuse it, they lose the privilege.

    A lot of your procedures are phrased in the negative (i.e DO NOT do such and such). If you focus more of your time and energy on what you want them TO DO, you won't have outline every single negative. For example, your partner talk procedure. Instead of saying don't talk to anyone else, spend some time modeling what partner talk SHOULD look like, and hold them to that standard.

    Hope this helps or at least gives you something to think about. I also HIGHLY recommend the book Love and Logic :)
     
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