07 March 2015

What if Everybody Did That?!

In my classroom, we have 5 simple rules, inspired by whole brain teaching. 

1. Follow directions quickly.
2. Raise my hand if I have something to ask or share.
3. Treat my teachers and classmates with respect.
4.Make smart choices.
5. Always keep your dear teacher happy.

Though number 5 probably sounds a little narcissistic, any one of my 22 students could very clearly explain that keeping me happy only requires two things- that they stay safe and learn. No need to bring my gifts or tell me I'm pretty or perform any other brown nosing action... Just stay safe, and learn!

Earlier in the year (October-ish), my sweet students' behavior began backsliding a tad... I was becoming frustrated, and our Daily 5 and intervention time were becoming increasingly less effective because it seemed as though every 5 minutes I was having to redirect behavior of yet another student. Finally, in desperation, I pulled back out the book I used at the beginning of the year to introduce our five simple rules. It is a little beauty called What If Everybody Did That? We read it again and chatted a little and then I had a streak of inspiration. I scrapped my afternoon plans and we made our own class version of the book!

We began by brainstorming some of the issues we were having in the class. I was surprised to hear that almost all of the troubling things I was noticing, they were too! We made a bubble map and did a class example with "I just followed Mrs. B around to ask her a question instead of raising my hand one time. Mrs. B fell on me and smooshed me to bits, then turned around and said, 'What if everybody did that?!'"

Pairs of students got together and followed the pattern of the book to write their own set of two pages based on one of the bubbles off our map. They pre-wrote the text, then revised and edited it with another pair. After that, they copied it onto nice white paper, and used the illustration style of the book as well to draw some pretty hilarious pictures.

I bound all the pages with one of those old school punch-and-bind machines and put the book in our classroom library.

The little novel is super popular during Read-to-Self for Daily 5. We also pull that bad boy out whenever we are on the struggle bus and read it together. It is an awesome reminder because THEY wrote it. It's not me trying to lay down the law once again, it's THEIR words and ideas and illustration. My sweet students tend to remind each other and even remind me of the things that are truly important to keep our classroom functioning successfully. 

1 comment:

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