Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rules and Routines

Hello Friends!  Long time no see!  It has been a whirl wind of a beginning for the school year and I have neglected to update on what we have been doing in our classroom!

My family enjoyed our Labor Day weekend and spent the majority of our time at the State Fair.
Here is Miss Layla watching the beef show!  It was such a hot day!

Tonight I thought I would dedicate this post to beginning of the school year routines/rules.  These are SOOOO super important and they set the tone for the rest of your year.  Some might think I am quite strict, but I have very high expectations for my students and so in the beginning it is a big adjustment.  The first few weeks we have spent a LOT of time working on how we look and act in line and on the carpet.  We have also practiced cleaning up after ourselves.  I think a huge piece that makes a successful student is when they reflect on their actions and "grade" themselves honestly.

In Kindergarten we grade ourselves on a 1-4 scale, 4 being the best of the best and 1 being little or no effort.  We spent a lot of time talking and acting out what each area should look like/sound like.  Now usually, if I was teaching an older grade, we would make an anchor chart with words accompanied by a T chart of "looks like"  "sounds like" but I don't think they would have meaning with my littles as they can't quite read yet.  (soon....very very soon...but not quite yet!)  So, instead, we spend our time modeling over and over again what it SHOULD look like and what it SHOULDN't look like.  I first start out modeling what it should look like, and then what it shouldn't look like.  Then I call on students to model for us and we grade them.

Here are what some of our pictures look like from the beginning of our year.  (They always have a BLAST creating the number 1 photos.....I wonder why?  :) )

This is our Number 1 line.  We also practice lining up with speed and quietness.

This is our BEST number 4 line. 

Number 4 line.  We have a hand on our hip and a bubble on our lip!
Here are some pictures of voice levels!
This is a level 0 voice.  We should have a bubble in.

This is a level 1 voice.  We also refer to it as a whisper voice.

This is a level 2 voice.  We use this voice at station time.  It is our regular conversation voice.

This is what a number 4 carpet looks like.  
I forgot to add what a number 1 carpet looks like.  I will add this at a later time!

All of these pictures are printed and laminated and hanging in our doorway (for lining up) or on our whiteboard.  From time to time, I will ask a student to stand up and grade his/her friends.  We also compare ourselves to what the pictures look like.  

Another huge piece of Kindergarten is what we want our classroom to look like.  I take pictures of each kids' table as well as their tote being a number 4 vs number 1.  They will use this when they clean up their areas and grade themselves. I believe Kindergarteners (as well as other students) should be independent in many areas, especially in picking up after themselves.  They are expected to pick up their totes and clean their desks/cubbies.  They know my expectations as far as what our room should look like and that is where grading ourselves really helps us to know if we are on track or not.

The Blue table is a number 4!

The Red table is a number 4!

What are some of your favorite rules/routines to start off the year?
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