Revisiting Classroom Rules

How often do you revisit classroom rules? Most teachers establish rules at the beginning of the year, and many devote time to modeling and practicing rules with students in the first weeks of school. After that, however, the amount of time spent thinking about what rules mean and how to live by them often drops off dramatically.
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Public Discipline Systems

Public discipline systems—like Class Dojo, stoplights, moving clothespins along a colored card, writing names on the board—can certainly be appealing. Some days can feel as if they’re spent just disciplining, and public…
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Teaching Without Using Rewards

Children build on their strengths, and to do that building—to grow academically and socially—they need us to recognize and encourage their positive efforts. But what’s the best way to offer that recognition…
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When Students Need More: Taking the Long View

A reality of teaching that all teachers know well is that no matter how effectively we teach, no matter how hard students try, and no matter how many good days the class…
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Keeping Rules Front and Center During the Winter Slump

Recently I noticed my first graders having more trouble than usual sticking to our classroom rules. Several possible explanations came to mind as I began to reflect:“Am I not doing something I…
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When the Wheels Start to Wobble

Ever drive down the road and realize the car is wobbly and perhaps in need of alignment? Sometimes I just know my class is going to feel the same way. Right before a…
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Making Up for Lost Time

"Maybe we'll get to teach in February." That's been the joke at my school after snow, ice, and extreme cold, plus holidays and teacher workdays meant that last month we had only…
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Bringing Rules to Life

Do you think that without looking, your students could name your classroom's rules? Most teachers establish classroom rules at the beginning of the year, and many devote time to modeling and practicing…
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Revisiting Rules

I have such great memories of my third grade students' enthusiasm during the gymnastics unit in physical education. After this special, they'd come back to our classroom full of excitement about what…
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Try This: Y-Charts for Revisiting Rules

Are you looking for a strategy to help your students navigate particularly tricky times of day, such as transitions, recess, lunch, or dismissal time? Try making a "looks like/sounds like" chart (often…
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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…
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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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Reteaching Routines

It's never too late to revisit or reteach any classroom routine. In fact, here's a story from the Responsive Classroom newsletter by a teacher who started her whole year over in November!
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Why Wait?

Oddly enough, I have been thinking a lot about New Year's resolutions lately. Specifically, I think about how I can't wait for January so I can start getting back into a healthful…
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Keep Learning Going During Holiday & Vacation Times

Suddenly, it seems like the class is falling apart. Classroom routines that were going smoothly just a few weeks ago now seem rough around the edges. More and more children are forgetting…
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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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Reflecting on Classroom Routines

What routines do you use in your classroom? Which are going well? Which still need some work?
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Hopes, Goals, and Classroom Rules

On a winter afternoon, a group of third graders has settled down for a class discussion. Their teacher, Nancy Kovacic, holds the book the children made last fall—pictures and words embodying their…
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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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