Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Classroom Rules That Will Change Your Life

Hey Everyone!  Today's focus in going to be on the five classroom rules that will change your life! Within my classroom I use Whole Brain Teaching (WBT). Each rule has a purpose and an action.  These actions help engage the brain because it activates the students' motor cortices. When presenting these rules to my students, I always come in with high energy.  We practice, practice, practice each day in order to make sure we do not forget them.  This practice is also great for getting your students up and moving.  The whole purpose of whole brain teaching is to make learning fun all the while truly developing critical thinking skills and activating multiple parts of the brain. The students should be more talking than the teacher (I know that is a tough one!)
So, what are the rules?
Rule 1: Follow directions quickly
This rule is great because it helps with transitions and gets kids actively engaged in your lesson.  I usually use a timer or count down in order to help students know how much time they have to complete tasks.  When you implement this rule I think you will be surprised how much you can get done in a class period.  Students are eager to finish whatever they are doing before you get to 1.
Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak

This rule is pretty self explanatory, but definitely is a must when conducting a busy and active classroom.  If you have practiced the rules with your students, then when a student breaks this rule you can say "Rule 2"and have the students reply "Raise your hand for permission to speak".  By doing this, you are not singling out the rule violator, but reinforcing the classroom rules to all students.  This encourages a positive learning environment!

Rule 3: Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat
Rule 3 is the one rule I struggle with following through with because we are always up and moving within my classroom.  Students are cutting and pasting and throwing things away.  Here is my solution to maintaining this important rule, but still allowing for some flexibility: a green sticky note or piece of paper.  This year when it is okay for my students to get up and throw things away or grab materials they need without asking, I'm going to stick a green sticky note next to rule 3.  This is kind of like a green light to get up and move as needed.

Rule 4: Make smart choices
Rule 4 is probably my favorite and most go to rule.  It is important when developing our young learners to build character.  There is a famous quote by C.S. Lewis that is quite startling to me: "Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."  I'm not going to go into everyone's belief system, but he does make a statement here.  One of our tasks as educators is to develop productive citizens.  This rule gives you the opportunity to constantly teach values and develop character within your students.

Rule 5: Keep your dear teacher HAPPY!
I'd like to introduce you to...(drum roll, please!)...."TEACHER HEAVEN!" This rule covers everything.  It is the "no loophole" rule.  If a student is doing something that you do not like in your classroom, you can just say "Rule 5" and your students can reply "Keep your dear teacher happy."  If they are not making you happy within your classroom then they are violating the rule.  This encompasses all of those little things that any other set of rules may have missed. 

Well, that's it guys, the rules that have changed my teaching life! If you have any questions about the rules, please feel free to ask. You can also find several videos at Whole Brain Teaching and on YouTube.  Good luck!  Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. I especially like rule 4. One of our biggest missions is to help students grow morally and become more independent in making positive life choices. The only way to help students develop their decision making skills is to help them reflect on their choices. Great thinking Mrs. McHargue!