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Teacher Assistant, Elem Ed. degree in progress at Western Governors Univ.

Great advice. Thank you. I

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Great advice. Thank you. I get so much from this kind of input. It helps me to visualize my own future classroom with a positive learning environment!

Mentor for teachers, students, parents, and administrators

I'll try this

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I'll try this again....Thanks, Lori. I appreciated your posting this topic. I substitute teach and am always mystified about the postings of long lists of rules in some classrooms. The one I especially question is "Zero Voice." Do we really want to take away anyone's voice? And how realistic is that expectation?
I have one classroom rule that covers everything: Be Courteous.
That's it. That's all I need. Joy in the classroom through courtesy. --Janet

Director, Strategic Resourcing and Programs at Tiger Woods Foundation

Thanks for this blog! I love

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Thanks for this blog! I love what you are doing with your students/staff and how you let them 'think for themselves'. I also used a similar lesson with my students as Karin. Basic concept is: they know what they are expected to do, and how to behave. So - let them design it! After they create their own 'rules' (I like to call them 'expectations', they become accountable to each other and themselves, because they decided on what is acceptable for classroom or wherever you are working with them. What a relief for the students not to walk into class the first week and see the 'rules' up on a board or receive a handout. They enjoy the process of working in small groups to create their expectations, and they are learning valuable life skills while creating a procedure for success in their environment. I always hold a follow up discussion after they create the expectations, asking them questions about how to follow this conduct, or what happens if someone isn’t following or isn’t accountable, what is the expectation then? They usually know the answers. Thanks for sharing.

Eight grade Spanish & ESL teacher

I think the succeess of any

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I think the succeess of any of this techniques is based on Team work.

High School English Teacher from Navajo Nation

School rules are necessary; classroom expectations work better

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I've had some conversations about how I don't post rules in my classroom with my administration. They want me to, but my principal has noticed that I don't have any problems with classroom management or any behavioral issues. Instead I talk to my students on the first day and hand them our classroom guide. In it, I have some tips on how to succeed in my class and to do well beyond school that were collected from previous students. My former students explain my tardy and late homework policies and supported the reasoning by providing examples of how this actually helped them finding a summer job or scholarships. (This is a great end-of-the-year writing activity for your students to leave behind a piece of their legacy). As for behavior, I just have two sayings posted in my room: "It is all right to make a mistake in this classroom, but more to your credit to make a different one each time" and "Everyone has a right to an education free from harassment, judgement, and distractions"

Consultant - Teacher Recruitment at Calgary Board of Education

Thanks Michael

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Michael I have not heard classroom "rules" such as yours before and I think they are brilliant - it seems like they would give students power. Thanks for the great comment!

Consultant - Teacher Recruitment at Calgary Board of Education

Thanks Sasha

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THanks Sasha for the comment and the information on MIBLSI. Your school sounds like a place I want to be. I was on your blog - asked you a question there :-) Keep up the great work!!

Consultant - Teacher Recruitment at Calgary Board of Education

Thanks Karin

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Thanks Karin for the reply and the wonderful way you work with your students. I think what you are doing is spot-on and as you mentioned has the intended results. Good work :-)

National Board Certified 4th grade GATE teacher

Class Constitution

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I actually refrain from having any classroom rules up in my room at all until Constitution Day. We spend approximately a week learning about the Constitution and its purpose. Then the students work in groups to write a list of rules they think are appropriate for our classroom. I then have them circle the two-three that they think are the most important; we share them out loud making a class list of all the rules. After, we decide on the top five from the list, combining rules as needed. We then work to write our own class constitution focusing on the positive ways to act in the room, leaving out "no" and "not". The lesson ends with all the students signing our classrom constitution.

We also go through similar steps to create cooperative group rules. Both of these ideas came to me from a book I had to read while in my teacher credential program titled "Discipline with Dignity".

Ever since I started teaching, 11 years ago, I've had my students help create the class rules. Because they have buy in and helped to create the rules and expectations, I rarely have behavior issues. We are able to spend our time in engaging and deeper level tasks and activities.

heart, head and hands

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Love your philosophy! :) sasha @ www.maestrasasha.com

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