Like many of you, I spend the first days of school talking about procedures, rituals, and routines in the classroom. Within that spectrum, lies the rules of my room.
I go into my year knowing the rules I want ahead of time. I know there are some schools of thought that say you should come up with a class set that the students brainstorm. Now, while I think that is a fabulous thing to do, it does not fit my control freak teaching style, so I don't actually do that. What I do do is go through the brainstorming process with my students on the first day of school and guide them to my predetermined rules.
Basically, it works like this. We all get together on the rug and I ask the students what they think the rules of the room should be. They tell me everything under the sun. As they are doing that, if there are any lulls, I interject with a "suggestion" and add it to the Circle Map. As time goes on, I discuss with them how we need "umbrella" rules that will sort of capture a whole bunch of these into one main topic. They get it, and we start to narrow down the millions of rules to just 5. Inevitably, these are the 5 we end up with.
Click here and you can get the 5 rules, as well as the Tree and Circle Maps I use in my class.
Here is the book template I am using. I used the Kevin and Amanda fonts again...I told you, I am obsessed.
So there you have it. These are a few of the things that I do with regards to classroom rules on the first few days of school. What do you do??? Please share your ideas!