First Days: Rules - Down River Resources

First Days: Rules

Howdy, Friends!

I am taking a break from creating new products to get caught up on life! This sounds wonderful, but my mind goes a million miles a minute with thoughts of new ideas, ways to make in-progress projects better, and thoughts of setting up this year's classroom roll around. Fortunately, I have been able to sleep through this all! 

The following will explain the rules or "standards" I use in my classroom. This will be most helpful to friends who are new teachers or want a new way to introduce the rules.

I am Project G.L.A.D. certified. This is the Project Guided Language Acquisition Design framework our of Orange County, California. We use this framework in all dual language classrooms at my school site, but only a handful of other teachers use this framework in their monolingual classes (English only), as they only trained the dual language teachers in this district. This is something that will soon be changing. Soon, all of our elementary teachers will be trained in this program and be certified. Luckily, I came to this district with this certification, so I am one step ahead. I have also been using the program for four years (maybe more...I need to look that up). I look forward to sharing my knowledge with my colleagues.

Our school site adopted all of the "Standards of Behavior" as school/classroom rules during the last school year. They are a wonderful set of standards that have transformed my classroom in the last four years using the framework.

The Three Standards of Behavior are:

Whether you use the Project G.L.A.D., or create your own rules, these are great all-inclusive rules.

This is how I introduce the rules in my classroom:

On the first day of school, I usually don't mention the word rules. I focus on positively reinforcing students who are making good decisions and showing respect. I use those words specifically when praising them. This way, when I introduce the rules during the first week, the students have some prior knowledge as to what we are discussing.

On the second day, we usually make a list to rules that the students come up with that we should follow in school. Then, I take all of those rules (which usually start with "Don't...") and put them into three groups. I say, "All of these rules (putting a circle around each of them with one colored marker), help us make good decisions."

Then, I use a different colored marker and put a circle around the second group and say, "These rules help us show respect to ourselves, friends, teacher, and school." Then, I usually have to explain to them how we solve problems and start building a classroom culture that promotes that type of thinking. 

By making the list with the students, I am building student ownership. They really think they are the creators of these rules. I use, what I call, facilimanipulatation.  (This is a combination of the words facilitate and manipulate....kind of when you make the kids say exactly what you want!) You all use it, but you may not call it this! Now you will!

If you are interested in using the rule set in your 2014-2015 classroom, I currently have a set in my TeachersPayTeachers store. This set has 18 different single posters (one version is pictured above). The other part of this set is the posters that have one rule per page. These make great ladders, if you connect them together, or posters on a bulletin board.

Posters come in two versions. They say "Three Standards of Behaviors" designed for Project G.L.A.D. classrooms or "In this classroom..." for all others. Pick whatever you'd like with this pack.

I hope you RULE your school in the upcoming year!

Happy Planning!


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