Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our Class Promise

It's usually the beginning of the year when classes' are working on establishing expectations and setting the tone in the classroom community, but the "home-stretch" of the school year can often be a time that behavior starts to slip and you have to re-visit the topic.

In my classroom, we call it our class promise. At the start of the school year, we have discussions during our morning meetings about what we want our classroom to be like and what we all need to promise to do in order to make that happen. The list is often quite lengthy and long, but in time patterns emerge (I'm usually charting their ideas on a large chart paper as we go along). Once we see the common themes, we try to narrow it down to 4 to 5 BIG ideas that then become our class promise. I post these prominently above our meeting area where they will stay for the whole school year. Each child also creates an art project of him/herself (which is also a great social studies lesson!) and we hang that that with the class promise to show that we're all in this together. It takes teamwork to make a great classroom! I like this process because everyone has a voice and everyone shares a common vision. It helps the rest of the school year run so smoothly.

From time to time, we may re-visit a discussion about one promises that isn't going so well. Right now that would be "Listen and follow directions." (First graders having a hard time with that?!? No!) But it doesn't take long to address the problem and come up with a solution because everyone is dedicated to the class promise.

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