Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rules, expectations, strong suggestions

Much of what I've read this summer eschews classroom rules. My favorite is from Fay & Funk, who offer: You can do anything you like, providing it doesn't bother anyone else in the class. (Teach with Love & Logic, p 108).

I've always had too many classroom rules. Wong told me no more than 3-5, but I went up to 9!

Kids tend to take each rule as a challenge. They test your limits. They look for the loopholes. They try your patience.

After much thought, I have decided to adopt a modified version of the Whole Brain Teaching (formerly Power Teaching) rules. I intend to tell the class there is only one rule -- keep me happy. I offer the rest as suggestions for those who might be stumped as to how to keep me happy.

Other than this adjustment, I tweaked the wording a bit. "Raise your hand when you'd like to speak" implies (I hope!) that the student must wait for permission. The original "~ before you speak" leads, I know, to simultaneous raised hands and voices. I also changed "when you want to leave your seat" to "walk" just for simplicity. We'll see.

Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) is another new - and better, I hope -- idea I plan to adopt this year. More later. The graphics on the poster (again, my version of WBT concepts) are meant to be both visuals and reminders on associated hand-motions.

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