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Lesson Plans

Re: Class Rules

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Karen Fish (
Tue, 26 Aug 1997 17:19:31 +0000

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Over the years the dilemma of class rules has always haunted me. I
don't want to start the year with a list of "thou shalt not's..."
but then again I want the class to go smoothly and for me that means
that there must be a positive class environment. Following a great
workshop with Jayshree Oza I put into place her techniques for
establishing norms of behavior for a group.

It begins with a brainstorming activity based on the question,"What
does the worst possible outcome for the class for this class look
like?". They are very good at this bit, especially in relation to
the teacher, but with a little prodding they become more reflective.
Then we do the same thing , brainstorm, but this time it is what do
they see as the best outcome for the class. I act as the recorder
and try to write up everything they say. At the end of this we have
half a board that sounds like hell and half that is utopia!

Then I throw it back to the class..."What are the ways that we will
have to work together to achieve the best and not sink into the

What they come up with varies from group to group but generally words
like respect and care are in there. Once we work it through to a
manageable size list we post it on the classroom wall. When need be
I will direct their attention to it to get everyone back on line. I
tried this last year for the first time and it was really
successful. I think it's because their words and not mine alone. It
may not work in all situations but I have found it to be the best
solution so far!
Karen Fish
Fine Arts Dept.
Hong Kong International School

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