Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Rules of the Classroom

As I'm writing this post, I'm thinking about how lucky I am, because every year I start school in July! Yes, it "cuts" into my "summer break" but that doesn't bother me, click here if you want to know why I start in July.
To top it off, this year is EXTRA special for me because my very own baby girl starts kindergarten. She also happens to be our baby, and has been asking for a whole year (really, I think, ever since she realized I am a kindergarten teacher) for me to be her teacher. This past year, while she was in pre-school, I thought and pondered about the idea. My husband and I talked about the pros and cons. I even asked veteran trusted teachers for advice and decided why not? So, for over a year we have been "prepping" her to be in mommy's classroom. We would constantly inform her, that if she was going to be in "momma's" class, she had to listen like every one else. We also made her aware, that mommy would share her heart and time with other children in the classroom; as expected she would listen quietly, ask why, and would finally nod and say OKAY, after a huge sigh and she always wanted a hug!
Honestly, up until last week I was somewhat worried. Last week was our first week together in the classroom and I was so impressed, surprised, and amazed by her! Her maturity, kind heart, and extrovert personality were far beyond my own expectations of her. I think my husband and I made a good choice, not to mention my amazing principal who also gave me the ok! Needless to say, tomorrow we start our second week together and I'm so looking forward to it!
I credit part of this success to some of my classroom rules, procedures, and expectations. It's cliché to say children thrive on boundaries, but it is the truth!
My first week with students, we play at all of our centers and practice routines and procedures. We read several first day of kindergarten/first day of school books and we sing many songs.
One the songs we sing and I also use to teach classroom "rules" comes from Mr. Harry Kindergarten Music  the rules of the classroom:

But before we even sing this song I lead the students into a discussion about my role as a teacher and their role as a student. We chart our ideas, and eventually all their ideas can be summarized perfectly into this song.  After I write down their ideas, I show them our posters for each rule, which look like this in our class:

Classroom Rules Posters

Classroom rules posters

Class rules for kindergarten

And we can never sing this song enough through out the year! Setting clear classroom rules and expectations will lead you to a productive school year! Add amazing little minds at work to that and it's even more so beautiful! Children will love learning!

If you would like a set for your own class here you go!
Rules for the classroom