Re: Class Rules

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Mark Alexander (mamjam)
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 07:06:45 -0500

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Dear Karen, Melissa, and all,

These are wonderful tactics to get the students involved in creating class
guidelines! If they have taken a large part in designing the guidelines
then they'll more likely be willing participants in carrying them out. It
sounds like a plan I may use. I like the fact that Melissa's class list is
all positive, not a list of "thou shalt not's..." . As the teacher, does
your guidance have to be very subtle, or do you think the teacher should
take a participatory role equal or more to the students while designing the
guidelines? Would it be a good idea for a student volunteer to write ideas
and phrases on the board as the class brainstorms? Keep on posting these
great suggestions! Thanks,

Mark Alexander
1-8 Art on the Cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, Connecticut

At 8:33 PM 8/26/97, Chaney wrote:
>Karen Fish wrote:
>> 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
>> worst?"
>> 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
>> Karen Fish
>> Fine Arts Dept.
>> Hong Kong International School
>Your idea sounds wonderful. At an inservice in my school we discussed
>this same concept. However the ideas from the students are placed on a
>"T" chart with the topics of what a great art class "looks like" and
>"sounds like". The teacher lists their ideas on the chart. A list of
>rules is then created by the students based on their chart.
>The list in my room reads...
>We will raise our hands.
>We will stay in our seats.
>We will remember to write our name.
>We will respect supplies.
>We will respect eachother.
>Everything is listed in a postive manner.
>Students then came up with their own consequences.
>Melissa Chaney
>Midway R-1
>Cleveland, MO

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