Teaching the Rules, Webcast #515

            Today, in Webcast #515, Coach B stated my sentiments exactly. “Power to the teachers and God bless us all. We’ve got the greatest profession on earth.” But this wonderfully passionate statement is true only if you have classroom management well in place.  Thus, I taught the Five Rules to my class within the first hour of the first day of school this week.

 As recommended by Coach B, I’ve been weaving the Rules instruction into our daily routine several times a day. This is the first time I’ve taught kids to memorize the rules, but they took to it really well. They had fun with the gestures I taught them.  My fourth graders can recite the rules in any order – quickly.  I think this week we’ll have fun reciting them in a whisper or a silly voice. 

More importantly, they can not only recite the rules.  They can tell me why it’s important to have good rules.  They all agreed that we need to create an atmosphere where learning occurs and everyone feels safe.  When we voted on each rule, my class overwhelmingly agreed each rule was a good one.

This year, my students are really good kids, so I don’t anticipate any major problems. That is, unless constant talking can be considered a major problem, which I do, because learning isn’t taking place.  I tried the timer a couple of times on Friday, but the alarm clock I got wouldn’t time for just a few minutes. I’ll head to Wal-Mart tomorrow for a better timer.  I think I can get the talking throughout the class period stopped that way.

           But what do I do about dismissal time?  I can’t even pretend it’s organized chaos.  It’s just chaos.  I don’t mind if the kids talk a bit among themselves, but they go crazy.  How can I stop this loud frenzy at the end of the day so kids can hear last minute P.A. announcements and instructions from me?  I would appreciate some insight or advice from one of our experienced WBT teachers.  Thank you very much!

Note: After I posted this reflection, a kind blogger recommended that we practice the dismissal procedure earlier in the day. So we did that today with great results. Dismissal was much calmer today. My students understood that they had not earned the talking time at the end of the day because we had one more Frownie than Smilie. As one of my former excessive talkers explained to the class “We’ll do it [earn the free time] tomorrow!”  He was compliant in a very positive way. Teacher Heaven!

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