Sunday, May 5, 2013

The best Rules in Education!

How many teachers buy those pre-made posters that have the classroom rules on them? I did this my first 2 years of teaching and realized...THEY DON'T WORK! Kids still argue and bicker with each other. 

The last 3 years, I have had my students help me create class rules and this seemed to work better but students still did not follow the rules at all times.

With Whole Brain Teaching, the 5 rules are EXCEPTIONAL! The five rules are the core component of the Whole Brain Teaching approach to education. 
  • Rule #1 is to follow directions quickly. 
  • Rule #2 is to raise your hand for permission to speak. 
  • Rule #3 is to raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. 
  • Rule #4 is to Make Smart Choices! Lastly, 
  • rule #5 is to keep your dear teacher happy.
At the beginning of the year, teachers should instruct students on their classroom rules using the movements to go with the rule. I introduced these by telling my students that we were going to learn our classroom rules and out them out at the same time, as if playing a game. Here is the link where you can buy the class rules on an 8x11 sheet you just print out and laminate. The great thing about it, Coach B has created them in multi-races so it meets the diversity of our classroom! Some of the posters are pictured below!
  • Rule #1 should have your hand more forward like a fish. 
  • Rule #2 should be taught by raising your hand up and down and then moving your hands as if speaking. My students are even taught if they have a question/statement, they must show me 5 fingers so I know they would like to talk. 
  • Teachers can introduce rule #3 by raising their hand and then walking with their fingers. My students hold up their pencil if they need to exchange it, hold up 1 finger if they need to go to get water, and hold up 2 fingers if they need to go to the bathroom. This prevents holding up a hand and then asking. I can just wait until time is right to tell them to go ahead.
  • Rule #4 is the fun one because I tell my students we need to make smart choices by pointing to our “smart brain.” Teachers should tap their index finger on their temple while saying rule aloud. 

  • The last rule, rule #5 is to make a picture frame with L fingers around your face and bob your head up and down. Rules should not just be taught once. In fact, they should be repeated very often. I like to say aloud, “Oh class, someone just broke Rule #2” and the class will say aloud and act out, “Rule #2: Raise your hand for permission to speak.      

These 5 little rules have really made a large change in my student’s behavior. The same group of students who did not know the class rules in January now know these 5 new WBT rules by heart. They love to please me and I just have to point to the rules if I see someone about to break a rule and they change their behavior. Another great component of the WBT approach to education! If you would like to learn the gestures to go with the 5 rules or see examples of how to introduce these rules with your class, watch Coach's webcast below.