So every once in awhile I start doing a little planning...nothing huge! I just make some lists, look at my planning from last year and make notes about what I want to tweak. That's when I came across this activity that I loved doing with my class.
I fully believe that students, of any age, should have a had in the creation of the rules and routines of their classroom. I think it leads to more engagement and more positive student interactions. So at the beginning of the year I write out the routines I want to have in place in my classroom as well as any super important rules. Then the fun begins!
Classroom Routines Activity
1. Divide your students into groups of 3-4.
2. Give each group a packet of the classroom routines and rules that you think are especially important. (You can see an example and print slips I use here)
3. Make sure you also give the students some blank slips to write their own rules/routines they think you might have missed.
4. Instruct the groups to look through the slips you have provided and to write down any rules/routines they think are missing on the blank slips (10-15 minutes).
5. Once this is done give each group a large piece of paper (chart paper, etc) have ask them to sort their slips in order from the most important rule/routine to a little less important- I never say least important because they are all important! (15-20 minutes- depending on the age of your students)
This is a good time to observe right away which students may struggle with group work and which communication skills your students have already mastered.)
6. When the groups have finished this I tell them that they are now going to present their list to the rest of the class and I give them 5 or so minutes to prepare. I also make sure they know that I expect each group member to participate in some part of the presentation.
7. Present! Now the class gets to see how the other groups sorted their slips, they get to hear the rules/routines numerous times, they have had some input into the structure of their class setting, they have already made a presentation in front of the class (in the first week!) and you are ready to start modelling and practicing these rules/routines many, many, many times in the weeks to come.
I am excited to hear your thoughts on this activity and perhaps other possible ways you think it could be used?!?!
Leave your wonderful comments below!!