As much as I love creating activities for my kiddos, one of my passions is thinking of ways to build my School Family. Yes, I LOVE what most consider classroom management/discipline. Having a "helpful heart" is the core of my classroom. We come together on the group rug lots. I want my kiddos to understand how important that time on the rug is so our rug is called "The Learning Rug".
The first day of school we come to the rug and I start whispering like I have some special secret to share with them.... this is sooo cute to watch them lean in and listen so quietly. I tell them magic can happen because this is no normal rug, it is a Learning Rug that will help their brains getting smarter but for that to happen they need to help and make some promises. We start discussing what those promises might be and I *guide* them to those promises. Then I start acting silly and showing them the "what ifs". For example, what if I start rolling around on the floor(yes, I start to do this!). They tell me that could hurt the person sitting next to them. So I ask, what would be a good promise we make to keep our friends safe so everyone can learn? This helps them say a good promise would be to sit crisscross applesauce on the rug. We usually have 5 Learning Rug promises but you can do whatever you expect on the rug. Here are our's:
*We will have our eyes on Ms. Price.
*We will have our ears listening to Ms. Price.
*We will sit crisscross applesauce.
*We will have a bubble in our mouth and raise our hand.
(For us, a bubble is just saving their sounds)
*We will use the quiet sign to help remind friends to listen and turn their sounds off.
(Our quiet sign is a quiet finger on the lips and the peace sign raised in the air. Either they or I put the quiet sign up and we stop until everyone is putting up the quiet sign and we refocus the attention back on me or whoever was speaking. This regains focus VERY QUICKLY!)
We take pictures of what these promises look like and write the promises with interactive writing.
This chart is from a couple of years ago and doesn't include the promise of putting up the quiet sign. We don't add the part about hands in our lap anymore. I am sorry this doesn't match but I hope it helps give you the big idea.
Here are some choices you can use to make your own sign. One of our School Family jobs is the attention helper that helps remind friends of these promises. This has been very powerful! I'll be glad to answer any questions if I didn't explain well!