Friday, July 17, 2015

Class Rules Posters

I have been doing quite a bit of research on Whole Brain Teaching lately, and I am planning on implementing some of it into my classroom this year. I am big on student engagement, and this is a method that is full of engaging teaching techniques. I bought the book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids: (and the rest of your class, too) by Chris Biffle. It hasn't arrived yet, but I am really looking forward to reading it. I was actually using some of the methods in my classroom for the past few years and didn't even know it. I have been using call and response method including the "Class, Yes" method and other fun and engaging sayings with my students. I will be sure to write a post about this method when the book arrives and I get a chance to dive in.

I have watched some youtube videos of teachers using this method and some of them were inspiring. To be perfectly honest some videos hurt my ears! When I use call and response I teach the students what an appropriate voice level would be. I think this method is just as effective when the students aren't shouting at the top of their lungs! I will be sure to share what Chris Biffle says about this in the book. One video that I particularly enjoyed was a video by a teacher named Andrea Schindler. Check it out here:

I decided to create rules posters inspired by this video and I plan to post them in my classroom and review them with the class the same way the video shows. I decided to change some of the wording from the rules, in particular the "Listen when the teacher is talking" rule. I feel that students need to listen to all classroom speakers so I modified this rule to "Listen when the speaker is talking." I LOVE the use of hand gestures that the Whole Brain Teaching utilizes and I implement gestures as much as I possibly can. You can get the posters here!

I was always taught that rules should be created together with the class and that is always the way that I have always started my year. I found that I had to modify the rule suggestions the class came up with so much (turning the suggestions into positive statements that covered many possible classroom problems)  that I wondered if the students really were taking ownership of the rules the way it was intended. With the new rules, having gestures, choral response, and student leaders, I am hoping this will provide my class with ownership  and "buy-in" over these teacher created rules. I will be sure to write about the difference in the two methods as I see my students react to this method. Also, stay tuned to see what other Whole Brain Teaching methods I implement in my classroom.

How do you set up the rules in your classroom?

Happy Teaching!

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