Welcome back to my Back 2 School Series!
Today's topic is all about Rules.
Rules are extremely important, especially when you teach 8th grade.
I know that I have to share and enforce my rules starting on Day 1.
If I don't do that then the classroom will be a wreck!
I'm a mean lady at first because I have to make the students understand that I mean business.
After a month they typically get the hang of things, and then I can loosen up.
Six years ago when I made my rules I wanted them to be simple.
I didn't want 15 different rules that no one could remember, myself included.
I thought of what I really wanted my students to know and things that really irritate me, and I ran with it.
Mrs. Knecht's 8th Grade Language Arts Classroom Rules
1. When someone is talking, you should be listening!
2. Always try your best!
3. Be respectful!
4. Bring all materials to class on time.
5. When you're absent check the missing work file and ask Mrs. Knecht if there's anything else you missed.
6. Ask questions!
1. The first rule is my pet peeve. I CANNOT stand it when someone is talking and other people are talking. It applies to students and adults. If I am in a meeting and another teacher is doing this, it drives me crazy.
I will call the students out for violating this rule all of the time at the beginning of the year.
I explain to them that I'm quiet when they are talking, so I expect the same respect back.
It really doesn't take them long to catch on.
Typically I will stop, mid-sentence even, and look their way until they quiet down.
2. I try my best, and I want the students to try their best.
I always tell them I won't get mad if only they give me their best!
3. Respect is big for me.
I will respect them and they will respect each other.
I don't deal with name calling or degrading comments.
In years past I would simply say "What did you say?" and the students would look at me and say "Nothing, Mrs. Knecht."
They are quick learners and catch on quickly that I don't want to hear it.
4. Students are old enough to come to class with a book, pencil and binder every day.
I will give them one warning, and then I hand out demerits.
5. This is a rule that I wish students would follow more. Students think they can be absent and never make up the work. I have an Absent Bin in my room where I have hanging file folders by date. If a student is absent they should go to the date they were absent and see if there are any papers for them. As we work more and more online, a lot of things students need to do is online, so I want the students to ask me what they missed, so that I can explain what I need for them to do.
I hope the students this year are better at this.
I'm also going to try out Recap and Vocaroo that will allow me to voice record myself and post it on my webpage, so that I don't have to keep repeating what students missed 8 different times for each student who asks.
6. I always share with students that if they knew everything they shouldn't be in this class. I want them to ask lots and lots of questions, and I don't want them to be afraid of looking "dumb." Each year I try to encourage them even more to ask questions.
Here are my rules last year...
And then the same rules this year...
What rules do you remember from your school days or what rule would you have to have in your classroom?
Today is a day full of meetings.
I'm not good at sitting for long periods of time, so I hope I can contain myself.
Come back on Friday for Building and Organizing your Classroom Library.