Rules Talk

After a busy morning, Mr. Hulsey’s third graders are ready for lunch, squirming as they stand in line at their classroom door. Mr. Hulsey raises his hand, the agreed-upon class signal for attention. When everyone’s quiet and looking at him, he speaks: “Our rules say we’ll take care of each other and our environment. How will that look and sound in the lunchroom today?”Students’ hands shoot up and the answers come readily: Speak in six-inch voices. Say “Thank you.” Remember to empty your tray. If you spill, clean it up.
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Getting Invested in Routines

One key to success with routines is helping students understand that by following routines, they make their classroom and school a better place to be. When students understand this, they're more likely…
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Keeping Routines Crisp

(This is one of a series of posts about  reteaching everyday classroom routines, such as lining up or responding to the quiet signal.)Once you and your students have gotten classroom routines back…
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Read-Alouds: Duck! Rabbit!

Before I moved to California, I had the pleasure of being part of a children’s book club—a group of adults who gathered together once a month to read and discuss children’s books.…
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Read-Alouds for Rule Creation

Classroom rules work best when students understand why rules exist and how rules will help them, as individuals and as a group. I have found several children's books over the years that…
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Read-Alouds to Inspire Hopes and Dreams

By now you probably know how much I love children's books! Here are some that would be perfect for launching a discussion of hopes and dreams—the first step in the Responsive Classroom…
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Success for Substitutes

Just about every teacher needs to be away from the classroom at some point during the year. Whether you're away for a half day, a day, or several days, you'll want to…
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Coaching Children in Handling Everyday Conflicts

"Teacher, he won't play with me." "Teacher, she cut in line." "Teacher, he took my book."Such classroom conflicts are familiar in elementary school life. For years, resolving such conflicts for children filled…
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Classroom Rules Q&A

In many classrooms, after the children and teacher create classroom rules during the first weeks of school, they revisit the rules at various points during the year. When do you do this…
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A Teacher’s Rules

July 2004In the school where I taught for many years, students and teachers worked together in the first weeks of school to create classroom rules that were based on everyone's hopes and…
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Everyday Rules That Work!

Scholastic published this article on the Responsive Classroom approach to rules and logical consequences for the August 2003 issue of Instructor magazine. It was reprinted with permission on the Responsive Classroom website,…
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Bringing Classroom Rules to Life

School rules. The mere mention of these words can elicit heavy sighs and moans from children and adults alike. Rules order us around. Rules constrict us. "No running, no hitting, no pushing,…
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Signals for Quiet

Question: I’ve read about using a signal to get children’s attention and let them know it’s time to be quiet. I’ve tried raising my hand but most of the time, children keep…
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