Rules/Consequences

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by mrsburf, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. mrsburf

    mrsburf Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I feel really weird about posting consequences and rules in my class. I feel that is a negative approach. Instead, I am posting classroom standards and expectations. The standards are simple, Respect, Honesty, and Communication. By not following the standards, isn't that breaking the rules? I want to b more positive by pointing out how to behavve rather than pointing out how not to behave. Am I being naive, it is my first year.
     
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  3. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2010

    Someone's going to give you a great answer on this, but in the meantime, here's my perspective:

    It is good to post your expectations. The fact that you have just three is great -- the less the better.

    I think "respect, honest, and communication" are a little vague, but you are the one who gets to define what that really means.

    I would post 3-5 rules that you find extremely important (important enough to stop class and correct the problem each time it happens until it stops) that are a little more specific (Do not talk when the teacher is talking, raise your hand to talk, .... whatever you find important).

    Here's the main thing though: enforce whatever rules you put up. Who cares what consequences you post, it's the consequences you enforce that matter.

    In a nutshell: yes, it is good to post expectations. Just follow it up with enforcement.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I think that being too specific can be a problem.

    If you say "Don't throw papers", some kid will point out, after the fact, that it doesn't say "Don't throw your shoe."

    If you say "No talking" he'll assume it's OK to sing, or chirp like a bird, or croak like a frog.

    I think generalities are a whole lot easier to enforce!!
     
  5. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    That's why I said wait for a better answer ;)

    As an English teacher, generalities and vagueness are my enemies. I can't help but shudder when I see something that could be defined 10 different ways.
     
  6. jsgirl

    jsgirl Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I love the general expectations - I do this as well - then we have a class meeting at the beginning of the year and talk about what the expectations could mean - the kids come up with lots of examples and take ownership of the expectations.
     
  7. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2010

    At our school we are "required" to post rules and consequences. Never thought of it as a negative thing but more along the lines as open communication for expectations. If you do _____ then _______ happens.
     
  8. mrsburf

    mrsburf Rookie

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    I think that leaving it with 3 standards leaves it open for a lot of rules such as be respectful. Everything falls under this from don't be mean, not hitting, not talking back. Being Honest means no lying, no escuses. Communication means listen, speak when asked, etc. I can see how it can be open fpor interpretation by the students, but I think that could lead to ownership in the classroom like jsgirl said.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I'm in the "general expectations" camp. It can almost be guaranteed that, if you are too specific, you will be challenged by behaviours that aren't on your list.
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2010

    Wow, this is totally off-topic, but you really view generalities and vagueness as your enemies? Are you teaching only expository writing?

    It seems to me one of the principle beauties of poetry is the use of ambiguity.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 23, 2010

    We use social contracts as our expectations. As a class, we discuss how we want the classroom ran. We post the expectations on the wall after everyone signs it. Next to these are the consequences. We keep them simple and more often than not follow the school's policy.
     
  12. JTeach619

    JTeach619 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2010

    If you are writing rules I would stay away from writing "do not's" and write "do's" instead. For example, instead of writing "Do not call out" I would write "Raise your hand and wait for permission to speak" or instead of "Do not get out of your seat without permission" write "Stay in your seat unless you have permission to do otherwise". I think writing "Do's" shows the kids what the right choice is as opposed to the poor choice.
     
  13. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I have 5 positive rules: (though this year we are going to try the "social contract" that the kid's make)
    We promise to:
    1.) Respect ourself and others
    2.) Take care of property
    3.) Listen
    4.) Follow Directions
    5.) Do our Very Best
     
  14. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I also think it's important to create the rules with your class, and only talk about what you can do, rather than what you can not do. Especially in the elementary grades, the less rules you have, the better.

    Usually our rules are something like this:

    Be Safe
    Be Respectful
    Listen to Others
    Do Your Best
    Have Fun

    After we brain storm rules, I split the class up into groups and ask them to create a chart for each rule. The sections are "What it Looks like" and "What it Sounds like"

    Ex:
    Safe - What it Looks like: Hands to yourself, walking feet, calm bodies, etc. What it sounds like- I really like the way that you are walking.

    I think the What it Looks Like, What it Sounds like parts are very important as you can really break down what these terms really mean. We then all sign the posters as a group contract, and I have one poster that says all of the rules, and the other charts hung up around the room, if I need to refer a child to look at a specific poster to remind them of what they're supposed to be doing. Again, I do this for grades K-4. Hope this helps!
     

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