Friday, July 29, 2011


     Most of the teachers in my school (including myself) have been trained in the Responsive Classroom approach. If you are not familiar with it, the Responsive Classroom approach is a research-backed approach that increases academic achievement, decreases problem behaviors, improves social skills, and leads to more high-quality instruction. If you want to read more about it, you can click here.
     One of the most helpful books that I refer to is called "The First Six Weeks of School", by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete. This phenomenal book has detailed guidelines for structuring the first six weeks of school. This book has allowed me to develop the rule-creation process that I use at the beginning of the year.

     The "brief" version of my rule creation process is: 1. discuss our hopes and dreams for the school year 2. brainstorm a list of rules we think we need to have in order to accomplish our hopes and dreams 3. revisit and condense our list of rules to 3-4 rules 4. post and illustrate our rules and revisit them often. As we condense our list of rules, I try to guide students and point out that most of our rules fit into these three categories: take of yourself, take care of others, and take care of our school.

    I have created these posters to hang in my jungle-themed room. After I post the rules, I give each student a blank index card, have them choose one rule, and draw a picture of what someone would like following that rule. Then I hang their illustrations around the rules. If you'd like a copy of my rule posters, click here or on any of the pictures below.


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