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High School English Teacher/The Nerdy Teacher

Answer to Zack

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I really like how you use the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution to develop classroom rules with students. I especially like that there is a set of rules at the beginning which they can challenge in a way that promotes critical thinking. I could see this giving students a real appreciation for what our forefathers accomplished. It also seems like a nice balance between student autonomy and a structure within to work. I was wondering something about the final outcome. Do you end up with 2 sets of rules, yours and theirs? Also, do different periods have different class rules?

I incorporate their rules into the standard class rules for one complete set.

Each class comes up with their own rules, so their will always be different rules for different classes, but they are always posted on the wall and not far off.

It's great to show the different classes the other set of rules. It starts good discussion.

I hope this answered your questions. Feel free to drop me a line if you have more questions at OneNerdyTeacher@Gmail.com.

Thanks,

Nick

High School English Teacher/The Nerdy Teacher

Answer to Lindsey

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Mr. Provenzano,

I just clicked over to your school web site. Can you elaborate a little bit more about the live blogging you have your students do? I'd love to hear more about it!

Here is a link to my site that will provide more details on how I put together class blogging, but I'll try and give a condensed answer here.

I set up class blogs using KidBlog.org and gave every student a log in and password. Students rotate through the alphabet to take turns blogging for the day. They are responsible for taking notes on what is going on in class. I set up a special area and had net books the kids could use. My students loved the concept and it worked very well. The class blogs were not graded and the students were told it was just a class expectation.

My blog has a ton more details. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at OneNerdyTeacher@Gmail.com.

Thanks for reading this post on Edutopia. Please share it with others. :-)

- Nick

Educator, Consultant, Author

Schoolwide Rules

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Thanks so much for sharing this great idea. Creating rules with students is such a powerful way to help them understand that rules have a positive purpose in a learning environment. I've seen some schools create schoolwide rules using a constitutional convention. Each class develops their own rules and then sends a delegate with a copy of their rules to a schoolwide convention. The principal helps students combine and condense their various rules into a schoolwide set that can guide behavior throughout the school, especially in those areas that typically need consistency: cafeteria, hallways, playground, etc. If anyone is interested in a great resource that outlines a process for creating schoolwide rules, check out: Responsive School Discipline, by Chip Wood and Babs Freeman-Loftis!

Great Idea

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The idea of having students create their own rules is an excellent way for the students to have a say in their classroom. It gives students a sense of responsibility, since they were the ones who created the rules. In my education program we have been told to create a democratic classroom and to allow our students to have a say in the classroom policies/rules. I think your idea not only creates a democratic classroom but ties in an important learning topic that demonstrates to students the importance of our constitution and bill of rights.

Mr. Provenzano, I just

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Mr. Provenzano,
I just clicked over to your school web site. Can you elaborate a little bit more about the live blogging you have your students do? I'd love to hear more about it!

5th Grade Teacher from Saint Petersburg, FL

I really like how you use the

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I really like how you use the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution to develop classroom rules with students. I especially like that there is a set of rules at the beginning which they can challenge in a way that promotes critical thinking. I could see this giving students a real appreciation for what our forefathers accomplished. It also seems like a nice balance between student autonomy and a structure within to work. I was wondering something about the final outcome. Do you end up with 2 sets of rules, yours and theirs? Also, do different periods have different class rules?

7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

Thank you.This is a

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Thank you.
This is a wonderful and creative idea.
I also integrate social issues and history into ELA,
and you have stimulated my thinking.
Thanks, again!

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