Have you ever thought about the one thing veteran educators and first year teachers have in common with Pre-K students and doctoral candidates? I’ll save you the suspense and just cut to the chase: They’re all humans. Yep! Newsflash: WE are all humans. And as a human condition, each of us wants to do what we want, when we want it. But in a classroom full of 18-20 small, energetic, noisy humans, somebody’s got to be in charge. That’s what this blog post will address. How to go about creating and enforcing classroom rules and procedures within your little community of human learners.
Give Students a Voice
Yes, we all know that every student in our classroom has a voice. Sometimes that collective voice can be LOUD at inopportune or inappropriate times. That’s where a rule or two can come in handy : ) That’s also why it’s important to allow each student to have a voice as you create classroom rules WITH them.
Ask your students to help you brainstorm ideas as you create your classroom rules together. Take down their ideas on a whiteboard or anchor chart, helping them through the process and talking through various classroom management scenarios. This is such an essential element of establishing classroom rules and procedures; it will serve as a reference point and continued reinforcement all year long. When you include this collaborative step, your kiddos will have a better understanding of the reasons behind the classroom rules. From the very beginning they’ll appreciate why they’re important. More than just a way to get buy-in, including students in the rule-making process means you give them dignity and a voice.
Get Students Involved
Once you’ve collected a list of ideas, guide students in evaluating the list and narrowing it down to a few general categories. Then help them come up with a short list of clear and understandable class rules. To keep things interesting and to help illustrate your point, model various behavioral issues or infractions. When creating classroom rules with students, get them involved by encouraging them to role play to demonstrate appropriate and inappropriate classroom behaviors. Discuss consequences, and ask students to suggest how positive choices might have prevented a problem or changed the outcome.
When your list is complete and students understand the rules, have each student sign the bottom of the list. It’s important to do this early — during the first few days of school — to ensure a safe, secure learning environment right from the start. Be clear and proactive to ensure your kiddos understand classroom rules, routines and procedures.
Here’s a link to a previous post where I talk more about a variety of Classroom Management Strategies!
Give Students a Visual
Include an engaging activity during the first week of school to help your kiddos learn and understand classroom rules. My School Rules Tab-Its® booklet is the perfect activity to accompany your lessons on classroom/school rules. Here’s an earlier post with more on this fun way to reinforce the rules: Learning Classroom RULES can be F.U.N.!
Teaching a roomful of tiny humans can be challenging; and teaching reading can be a complicated task. But your goal is to use every tool in your instructional toolbox to teach with rigor, engage your students, and strengthen their literacy skills. That’s why I’m SO excited to introduce to you a new and highly effective tool for your Guided Reading instruction: Guided Readers!
The Fastest Route to Guided Reading Success
Guided Readers is the most effective online guided reading program to help build and strengthen students’ literacy skills in phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and guided writing. Unleash the power of Guided Readers by implementing best practices in Guided Reading instruction. Our professionally leveled texts, rigorous and standards-based lesson plans and resources, and our easy-to-use digital interactive reader to allow you to address 21st century skills, engage students, and open doorways to learning.
With Guided Readers, students can listen to the stories being read aloud. The Digital Interactive Reader helps students with decoding and comprehension skills as they listen to and engage with stories. They can also record their own reading to improve their oral comprehension, decoding and fluency. In addition, the Teacher Portal allows you as the teacher to listen to and assess student recordings. You can also access quiz scores to assess student comprehension.
All Guided Readers leveled books are professionally leveled through our partnership with Fountas & Pinnell and Lexile.com. There are hundreds of leveled readers already on the site, with 20-30 books being added reach week! Books ranging from levels A- Q are currently on the site, and levels R-Z will be added in the upcoming months. There are 3 affordable program plans, now at special introductory prices! Best of all, there will be FREE access to any new additions to the site during your annual membership!
Are you ready to rock your Guided Reading instruction and help your students thrive? Get Guided Readers!
So glad you stopped by. Happy Teaching!