“The rules are simple!” ― Kazuki Takahashi
A classroom can't run efficiently without a set of rules. Many teachers, myself included, have in the past started their year by creating a class set together with their students. I was led to believe this would help my class feel ownership of their rules, but there is little evidence to prove this opinion. With Whole Brain teaching, students are presented with a set of ready made rules complete with actions to learn from their teacher the very first day. These simple rules are easy to learn and remember.
One important aspect of using rules in a whole brain classroom is that the rules are not simply posted and forgotten soon after they are taught. Instead, whole brain teachers find ways to ensure they are constantly running through the heads of their students. To make this happen, it is important to review the rules and their actions EVERY SINGLE DAY. Students need repetition and daily reminders like fish need water. But simply reviewing the rules every morning will be boring, and students need to be engaged, so it is important to review in the whole brain way, which involves reciting the rules in different voices- loud, whisper, slow, fast, robot, opera, etc. Doing this should make the students eager to see what the next review will bring, while ensuring the rules are recently on their brains.
Once students have the rules ingrained on their brains, all the teacher has to do when rules are being broken is to call out the corresponding number, and the whole class will stop what they are doing and perform the memory action while reciting the rule. The offending student or students are never pointed to or mentioned by name, but by having the class repeat the rule they should be instantly reminded of their expected behaviour and will feel instantly chagrined.
What's great about these rules is that they are very true to the spirit of Whole Brain teaching. They touch on every aspect of our brains practical use! Students see the posters, hear the rules, do they rules and say the rules. They are even feeling the rules when they realize they have broken one and the whole class breaks out into a repetition of the broken rule.
I look forward to implementing these five awesome rules when I teach again. Of course I could use the methods with any set of rules, but they wouldn't have the associated actions, or the nuclear power of rule number five!
Hands and Eyes
Mirror and Switch
This is in response to the First Steps Article: Five Classroom Rules.
This is the last in this series, I will now begin to dig more deeply into the articles and videos available on the Whole Brain Teaching Website and continue to participate in the Facebook Courses.
To get your own copy of my rules posters, please click on the above image, or the sample below to go directly to the Google Document.
If you would like any colour changes please comment below, and I will send you the edited version free!
I've linked this freebie to: