July 8, 2015

Creating the Classroom Culture

The beginning of the year is both exciting and exhausting all at the same time. I always describe the beginning of the school year to my non-teaching friends like this: imagine being given 24+ puppies one year and spend all your time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into training them and molding them to be the best little puppies they can be during that year you had them. Then turn around and receive 24+ new puppies the following year and start all over again. That’s kind of like the first few months of the school year when trying to establish rules and routines in the classroom.

Today I am excited to share some of the beginning of the year activities and resources I use to introduce my classroom to my new kiddos. I incorporate a lot of fun read alouds, activities, and engagement to model to my students the expectations I have for the year. I’m always surprised as to how quickly my kids pick it up!

Launching Routines & Rules
This packet has everything you need for the first week of school and getting your rules and routines established. Of course, it takes longer than a week to practice and revisit your rules, but this resource allows you to introduce your students to the framework of your expectations through reading and discussion using some of my favorite books. 

Engage students by handing them the GOOD CHOICE, POOR CHOICE banners and throughout your reading have students participate by deciding whether or not the character made a good or poor choice and how that incorporates to how they should treat each other in the classroom.

I love developing the rules together through a classroom contract that every student gets a copy of. After reading, discuss the main four rules and have students draw a picture and write their understanding of that rule in their student workbook also provided in this packet. Once finished students may keep them somewhere visible in the room or take home. Also, laminate and hang the classroom rule posters somewhere in the classroom where students can be reminded of the rules they created together as a classroom community.

Take a peek...

Discuss with students how organization leads to preparedness and a readiness to learn. This skill is often overlooked and this packet helps students realize that keeping a clean workspace is important and is expected. After all most report cards include this skill each quarter. Why not teach them about it?

After a main lesson and read aloud, students are to discuss and fill out each page of their workbook that highlights the rule being introduced. This is an example of rule #1 which is to make good choices. Good choices come in all forms and it’s fun to see how students come up with different ways in which good choices can be made!

Acknowledging Awesome Behavior
Too often we are guilty of recognizing problem behavior and having to nip it in the bud, but sometimes it’s the positive behavior that can slip through the cracks. Students, even the ‘problem’ kids, want to be recognized and sometimes the easiest way to do that is through acknowledging the positive behavior being represented in the classroom. 

These Positive Behavior Notes are quick ways to inform students and their parents of positive behavior, especially on those days when it seems there were a full moon the previous night. Simply jot down a quick behavior you noticed and give them to students to take home. Every year these are a hit with parents since it’s so often parents are only contacted for poor behavior.

Interested in a BUNDLE of all of my favorite, and most popular, behavior management tools?

How do you begin the school year and establishing those classroom rules and routines?

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Thank you for sharing!