Friday, September 21, 2012

What does it mean to be...

I took a totally new approach to creating and implementing classroom rules this year. To see how it began go read: rules to live by.
The next step we took to finalizing what these rules meant to our class was to create a paragraph per rule. I allowed each class to pick a rule they wanted to define. So class by class the rules were written as a class. To do this I handed out post-it notes and each student wrote one sentence as to what that rule meant to them. Then we created our paragraph by piecing together one student's sentence at a time. Here is what they came up with:

  Independent means that we do not need anyone for anything. We can accomplish tasks on our own. Being independent is completing tests, classwork and quizzes by ourselves. When we are independent we work in a group of one without being interrupted. An independent student can ask questions if necessary. When we are independent we study hard, earn great grades and help each other.
Supporting others means helping students who are stuck. We support everyone even those we do not like. When supporting others we come to them in their time of need. As a class we will guide students in becoming better at writing, reading and spelling. We promise to support others while we are in class. 
To follow this rule we have to watch how we talk to one another. We believe in order not to put down others we must not make students feel bad about themselves. As a class we have to work as a team to build one another up and not down. To create a positive classroom we have to choose our words and friends carefully. If a student is putting you down we must not do the same to them. We understand that putting others down hurts others feelings and discourages them from being great!

  Staying classy is being ourselves and not following others. A classy person is content with who they are. By being classy we help and care for others around us. We will look good in what we do. Looking good is more than outside appearance we have to focus on who we are on the inside as well.  We must treat others with respect and kindness.  Staying classy is using manners when talking to others.

   Striving for excellence is being a great person. We will always do our best as well as help others. When we strive for excellence we show bravery even when things become too difficult. We always try our best because we are striving for excellence. If we give up on ourselves we will go no where!

Overall, I enjoyed the process in having students define the rules. Each of the five rules are framed by themselves and hang on a wall as a reminder to what is expected of them.

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