I agree. In fact, this year I plan to go over my three rules (respect others, respect things, respect yourself), then have students give verbal examples, then have students model/role play positive examples. Finally, I want them to create large craft paper murals for each rule, with each class adding to the mural so they become school murals of the rules.
Also, what helps me a lot (and helps the kids, so they know what to expect), is that I practice my standard signal for being quiet and returning to their seats. For example, I show them my signal, then I give them about 30 seconds to talk quietly with their neighbors, then I do the signal, then we do the same thing for a slightly longer time (usually the first time they don't really talk), then I let a certain number of students out of their seats (I position them at typical classroom places, such as the pencil sharpener, sink and garbage can). This really helps show the kids how to follow my signal, and it makes things a lot more interesting and "real" than just telling them that they must sit down and be quiet when I say so.
I believe to get a behavior, you have to teach the behavior
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."- Pablo Picasso
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