Saturday, July 28, 2012

Class Rules

How many class rules do you have?

Last year I had three rules:  

  • Respect yourself
  • Respect others
  • Respect our school
At the beginning of last year, I sat down with my class and I asked them what they thought our rules should be.  If you've never done this, you should try it.  It's pretty interesting to see what they come up with!  

After I had written all of their suggestions, we reviewed them together.   I guided them into the realization that each rule they came up with, could be represented by one of the 'respect rules'.   For example,  "be kind to your friends" would fall under the  Respect Others  rule....... "don't write on the walls" (LOL) would fall under the Respect our School  rule, etc.    

My kiddos did not understand the word 'respect' at first, but after discussing several ways they could show (or not show) respect, the concept became much clearer to them.  

I got the idea for my classroom rules from Angela Watson at the The Cornerstone.  Here's a link to a great post by her about the differences between procedures and rules.    It was always hard for me to distinguish between rules and procedures in my classroom, but after reading her post it made a lot more sense.   (her entire site has tons of great information...I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already!!)

I now think of my rules as guides for my classroom, while my classroom procedures are steps that students should take to be successful at keeping those rules.   Does that make sense?

This year I want to incorporate Whole Brain Teaching into my classroom, so I've been doing a lot of  researching on their website.   WBT has their own set of rules that are part of their program, but there are a couple that are just not my favorite.   I think I am going to use my own rules (probably the three above) and blend them in with the rest of the whole brain teaching program.   I'll let you know how it goes!


  1. I came across Whole Brain Teaching a couple of years ago. I use some of their strategies in my classroom, but some I philosophically disagree with. We chant our rules (with actions) daily - but they are my own rules. I believe that the rule "Keep your dear teacher happy" may cover all the little areas that can be forgotten, but it has potential for harm.
    my 2 bits

    rubber boots and elf shoes

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! My teacher Bff is named Mrs. Burton too! =) I just read Sandi's (Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes) post on the "Keep your teacher happy" rule. She makes a good point! Our school just hosted a WBT conference and uses the rules. I do however tweak them for my own use in my room. I do not require them to raise their hand to get out of their seat (we move around too much.) I also added "be respectful" to each other. I think the chanting and actions does really help the younger kiddos remember whatever rules you decide upon. Have a great school year!

    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog