Thursday, June 20, 2013

WBT Book Club Chapter 7: Five, Powerful Classroom Rules

My sixth grade team is planning on implementing WBT this fall.  We teach on a team of four, including one math, science, language, and history teacher.  Introducing the five classroom rules on day one will be significant.  Using the same gestures, reasoning for each rule, and getting students to "buy in" to the rules will also be invaluable.  Each of us will introduce each of the five rules really well with each of our four core classes, especially during the first several days of school.  This will show each student that the Canterbury Castle teachers are united our their rules and our expectations. 

The one rule I feel is important in sixth grade is Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak.  There are times when students should be allowed to speak freely, but during regular day-to-day activies, "chaos" can prevented by following this rule.  Sixth graders are social butterflies, they love to talk, talk, talk, and Rule 2 helps keep order.  I plan to use the Scoreboard to reward points when students are following this rule, especially when it has been broken and improvement takes place.  As noted in Coach Bs individual rule videos, sometimes it might be necessary to have a time set aside for classes to practice "purposefully" breaking a rule.  When the students are given a chance to "act out" the breaking of a rule, it gives opportunity to discuss the importance of following the rule.  Reminding students that they voted on the rules also brings attention back to the importance of the rules.  

Daily and throughout the year, I will verbally call out the rules, especially Rule 2.  When a student breaks Rule 2, I will say, "Rule 2" and hold up 2 fingers.  Students with then unite as a group and say, "Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak" while holding up two fingers and gesturing a talking motion with their hands.  It is amazing how offenders conform to the united group.

As you can see, rehearsal is the key.  As I "vary my tone of voice, the size of my gestures, and even allow students to lead the rehearsal of classroom rules," the five classroom rules, especially Rule 2, will be reinvigorated and even amusing throughout the whole school year.  I'm so excited just thinking about it!

1 comment:

  1. Practice IS the key! I started WBT last year and loved it. My students did too. We practiced the right and wrong ways to do everything. Of course, 6th grade may not need AS MUCH practice as my 1st graders... Ha
    Good luck- you'll love it!
    Common to the Core
    (Formerly Fun in 1st Grade)