What activities do you use to teach classroom rules/expectations?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Aug 13, 2019

    I am trying to figure out what I want my classroom expectations to be this year. I was thinking of using the habits of work from my previous school and really trying to teach them effectively.

    The habits of work are active learning, collaboration, respect, and ownership. (I might replace or get rid of ownership because it’s so similar to active learning...thoughts?) I was thinking of saying that these are our classroom expectations or values. I would want to briefly introduce each value and provide a few examples and discuss them as a class. I feel like rules like no electronics, for example, would be covered by active learning and I could make that explicit. Then I was thinking of having the students work in groups to make a poster and come up with more examples or a visual model of some sort for a habit of work. I would then have the kids present to the class. I feel like reviewing all 4 in one day would be a lot but we could review 2 each day and do an activity each day. I would love to hear your thoughts about how you teach classroom expectations. I also feel like I need to go over group norms...but I’m doing some activities with group norms and I might be able to fit it in with collaboration.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  3. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I actually like both the active learning and the ownership clauses that you have, but I don't think I'd like the way they're presented. They both have a lot of things that tie into each other, but they are different. So with the active learning, students are expected to be engaged with the learning activity. If the class is having a discussion, I'd expect that you're engaged with the conversation, asking strong questions, taking notes, etc. Or if everyone is f doing individual work you're focused on that work and completing it accurately.

    Whereas with the ownership clause, you have to take ownership of your actions. Your actions have consequences that have been outlined, so you have to do decide if those consequences are worth having. You're responsible for the actions you do or do not take, and will get the consequences of your choices — both good and bad. For instance if you choose not to turn in your homework, than you're choosing a zero for that assignment.

    Situations are going to play to both of those: your example of no electrics in class, for instance. Yes, you're not actively learning because you're not engaged with the activity because you're on your phone. But it's also ownership because you have made the decision to be on your cell phone in class while you should be paying attention. Thus, you have chosen the consequences of that.

    Active learning and ownership are paired, just as collaboration and respect are paired. Active learning is an expectation to be engaged in the activity at hand, whereas ownership is an expectation and an assurance that whatever decision you make you and you alone will face the consequences of those actions. Collaboration is an expectation to work with your classmates and your teacher for a higher understanding. Respect is an expectation of how you do all of these things.
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I love this! I think I will do respect and collaboration on day 1 and active learning and ownership on day 2. I'm just trying to figure out what the best activities would be...I do want them to make some sort of visual display that they can present. I was thinking of giving the kids one of the words and having them make a visual display with 2-3 of the example behaviors that would meet this expectation. I wonder if it would get boring if I did the same activity each day?
     
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Aug 13, 2019

    Two areas to consider when setting up your class: 1) general rules 2) procedures. General rules are the 3-5 teachers use to tell the class their philosophy for good work and cooperation. They are usually posted. In short, they are “hopes and wishes” for a good year. However, they do not generate behavior.

    Procedures or how to do this and how to do that generate behavior. These are the one’s that need to be taught as carefully as any academic lesson. Consider sitting down and brainstorming a list of all the procedures and routines you will need to teach the first week(s) of school - from where to put backpacks to hand signals to notes from home to how to get help to line-up to forgot my book etc. You should come up with about 20. Next, number your list in terms of priority - must have first, second, third to this one can wait. I always prioritized by what students needed to know first as they showed up = 1) entering the room. Then I wrote the list on the board (or post it) and checked off each as students mastered it. This was a daily reminder to me and the class what we need to work on.

    I interspersed teaching procedures with activities. Never an hour of rules and procedures. It was procedure(s) for about 10-20 min then an activity. The activity was something fun and easy. Pigs and Chickens usually worked. I wanted students to think 6th grade was a piece of cake. On the second or third day I started to use short quizzes (X test etc.) between procedures and continued with activities like Basketball or Volleyball (both math review). I rarely taught a procedure one time or assumed because students were able to demonstrate after the lesson that they “got it” it was mastered. Mastery to me meant performing the procedure flawlessly each day for 4-5 days in a row after giving directions one time.
     
  6. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    For respect/collaboration (and even throw in a little human nature) you could do an activity I've seen some called 'witches'. The idea is that each student is given a card that says either 'townsfolk' or 'witch'. The townsfolk will be tasked with finding the witches. Of course there aren't any witch cards. Not only does it force students to realize the harsh realities that without respect for one another, it also highlights the importance of working together for the greater good.

    Active learning/ownership, you can continue with the witches theme in which you can discuss some of the negative consequences that happened during the previous days' activities. You can talk about how they were actively engaged, asking question, on the witch hunt. Have a discussion about why they felt the need to divide themselves and participate in this witch hunt. The ownership comes into play asking them to apologize to each other, make amends, and commit themselves to being better classmates towards each other, and being better people to everyone.

    If you really want to bring it full circle, take the opportunity to have a discussion about the Salem Witch Trails. That's real history that happened to our country which deserves to be talked about and educated about.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    When I was classroom-teaching (up until last year, since then it's independent studies), I spent the first day going over classroom expectations and procedures. I h ad a Powerpoint, we discussed it and then I gave them a qui, sort of questions, and they answered. Ofc ourse it wasn't a real quiz, it was just to see if they paid attention and to enforce it. In later years I added a part with their signature agreeing to all that.

    Because I had a constant flow of the same students, it was a small school and I was the only English teacher, eventually I skipped the Powerpoint, handed out the quiz and we together went over it. The students were always eager to provide what they knew and the new students learned it just as well.

    This usually went really well. If we had time left over I let them talk, that's what most of them wanted to do anyways, to catch up (we're talking 5-10 minutes)

    On day 2 I jumped into curriculum and handled procedures as they came up. They already learned them the first day, but now it was time to reinforce.
    I always thought that spending 2-3 days or more is a waste of time teaching something that is simple and can be taught doing teaching. Here I'm talking about high school.
     
  8. nstructor

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    What grade is this?
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    grade 6
     
  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    That's what I did last year but I don't think it's enough for 6th grade. But I really want to refer back to these expectations/values so I do want to spend the 2 days on them. It is more than just rules + procedures but expectations that I want the kids to be able to hold themselves to as well. (For example, I want to be able to say "One way to demonstrate respect is by listening to the ideas of our group members." or "Thank you for being an active learner by..." I want to connect these expectations to real examples throughout the year, so I think I would need to start with two days of lessons/activities centered around these expectations.
     
  11. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2019

     
  12. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2019

    Aces-Where can I find the Witches activity? Thanks!
     
  13. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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  14. nstructor

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  15. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 15, 2019

    No worries!
     
  16. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Aces-Can I see the worksheet you used? Thank you so much!
     
  17. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I don't have the worksheet unfortunately. I've never used it. You could possibly make something up based on what your class is and stuff but it's not required.
     
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